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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Crop and Pasture Science (ANS207)

Organisational Unit Agricultural Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description This unit introduces students to the principles of crop and pasture science. It develops an understanding of the basic principles of plant and crop growth by drawing on plant physiology, genetics, biochemistry, nitrogen fixation and plant nutrition and on crop physiology. The phenology and physiology of major crop and pasture species is examined. Major global farming systems are introduced and used to introduce students to the major challenges associated with producing crops and pastures in different environments.
Unit Learning Outcomes 1 Students will gain an understanding and specific knowledge of the underlying principles of plant growth at a cellular plant and crop level, including the basic principles of plant physiology, genetics, biochemistry, nitrogen fixation and plant nutrition. This will be provided in the context that these components can be manipulated to increase biomass production, while being cognisant of economic and sustainability considerations.
2 Skills that will be learnt include field and laboratory acquisition of data, critical evaluation of these data and information from a variety of sources, and combining these data into a summary report. Students will apply statistical tests to field and laboratory data. Students will be able to apply this knowledge in an integrated assignment where they describe why major global farming systems have developed, and the environmental and economic limitations to biomass production. This will provide a basis for understanding how different management options can be developed and involve a range of skills including (a) literature analysis, (b) data acquisition, analysis and visualization, (c) creation of a synthesis report.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: The equivalent of 2 hours per week. Practical work and field excursions: equivalent to 3 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences This unit combines formal lectures that explore the underlying principles of crop and pasture production, with case studies that illuminate how this knowledge is critical in a range of applied contexts. Formal lectures are underpinned with readings from seminal publications.

A series of field practicals will give students the opportunity to see crop and pasture production in the field, with a one-day visit to a working WA wheatbelt farm that integrates crop and animal production. This visit will enhance the theoretical aspects of the unit, and will by necessity use Western Australian examples, but these examples will be grounded in the broader context of the unit.

Students are given the opportunity to illustrate their learning in (a) field and laboratory based practicals (40%), (b) an assignment (2000 words) which integrates across the theoretical and practical aspects of the unit (10%), and (c) a formal examination of all material (50%).
Assessment Assessment will be aimed at determining the level of understanding of each student, using an array of techniques (reports on experiments, written assignment and formal examination). The written assignment will also aim to develop the student's report writing skills by setting a task that integrates across content presented in lectures, from readings and field excursions. Formative 40% from Reports. Report Formative 10% end teaching period Exam 2 hour summative 50% end teaching period
Prerequisites CHE140 Fundamentals of Chemistry
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc)
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
Earth and Environmental Science Major Teaching Area (BEd(Sec)) [New in 2019]
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Professor Richard Bell

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2370
e: R.Bell@murdoch.edu.au
o: 335.3.045 - Building 335, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S2-Internal
Professor Richard Bell

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2370
e: R.Bell@murdoch.edu.au
o: 335.3.045 - Building 335, Murdoch Campus
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