The quality of your soil is paramount to plant and therefore stock productivity.
Learn how to improve your soils and benefit from them.
This course examines:
Soil is the foundation for profitable farming. There are many things that can be wrong with soil (eg. poor nutrition, chemical imbalance, structural problems such as drainage, lack of microbial life etc).
- The properties of soil
- How to manage and improve soil
- Soil problems
- Sustainability of soils and much more.
Often minor and relatively inexpensive treatments can make a huge difference to productivity, but the problems need to be identified first, and that requires a solid understanding of soil theory and management practice.
What Will You Do:
- Define terms related to the production and management of agricultural soil, such as manure, mycorrhizae, ameliorant, pore space, micro-nutrient, denitrification, ammonium fixation, chemo autrophic organisms, colloids, buffering capacity, leaching, compaction
- Create a compost heap
- Discuss ways that human activity can destroy soil structure
- Explain how pH affects nutrient availability
- Explain the function of different nutrients in soils/growing media, such as nitrogen and phosphorus
- Analyse a soil test report in order to evaluate the soil for horticultural or agricultural use
- Describe appropriate soil testing methods for different situations
- Compare the use of organic and inorganic fertilisers in different situations
- Develop a detailed nutritional management plan for a particular crop, following organic principles
- Identify suitable earth moving equipment for different tasks and the conditions of use
- Explain various methods for assessing drainage at a site
- Evaluate the use of earthworks to refurbish or improve a specific site
- Research Environmental Protection Agency (or equivalent) recommendations for cleaning up chemical spills and for disposing of old household chemicals and their containers
- Discuss the advantages and problems of importing soil from elsewhere for crop production
- Explain appropriate methods of stabiliising an unstable or erosion-prone slope
- Remove a soil profile, describe the different soil layers, and compare the effects of different soil treatments on the soil profile
- Report on prevention and control methods for soil degradation, and development of sustainable soil management practices in a case study