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Unit (2020)

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

Crop Protection and Plant Biosecurity (ANS208)

Organisational Unit Agricultural Sciences
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S2-internal
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S2
Description Pests and diseases substantially reduce crop yields and quality; and weeds compete with crops and pastures. A range of organisms can destroy or downgrade harvested crops and food. This unit will examine these concerns, not only in terms of their interactions, but how they might be managed in a productive farming system and through the value chain. It will examine the principles and practices of biosecurity aimed at good agricultural practice and preventing the introduction of new pests and pathogens.
Unit Learning Outcomes 1 This unit will provide students with detailed knowledge of the main pre and post harvest pest, diseases and weeds that affect major farming systems and food crops. This knowledge will be combined with an understanding of the mechanisms by which these pests, diseases and weeds affect crops and foodstuffs, and the options that have been developed to control them. This, in turn will provide the basis to understand the management options that are available.
2 Skills that will be learnt include field and laboratory acquisition of data, evaluation of these data and information from a variety of sources, and combining these data into a summary report. Students will also learn how to critically evaluate the economic, safety and sustainability considerations of existing and emerging control options.
Students will apply this knowledge in an assignment where they consider the current impacts of weeds and pests on overall food production and examine the options for increasing net food availability through a range of existing and emerging technologies. This will involve the application of a range of skills including (a) literature analysis, (b) data acquisition, analysis and visualization, (c) creation of a synthesis report.
Timetabled Learning Activities Lectures: 2 hours per week. Practical exercises: equivalent to 3 hours per week.
Unit Learning Experiences This unit combines formal lectures that explore the principles of crop and pasture protection and weed management, 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 and laboratory practicals will give students the opportunity to study the impact of pests, diseases and weeds on pre harvest growing crops and post harvested commodities, sampling, examination and identification of major crop and pasture pre and post harvest pests, diseases and weeds, and conduct practice for management of pre and post harvest pests, diseases and weeds, and safely handling, storage and transportation of pesticide, herbicides and fungicides.

Students are given the opportunity to illustrate their learnings in (a) field and laboratory based practicals (10%), (b) a major assignment (2000 words) which integrates across the theoretical and practical aspects of the unit (40%), 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 (laboratory session write up, 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.

Workbook formative 10% end teaching period
Report formative 40% end teaching period
Exam 2 hour summative 50% end teaching period
Prerequisites ANS105 Agricultural Science and Food Production
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc)
Crop and Pasture Science (BSc) [New in 2016]
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
Dr Manjree Agarwal
Senior Research Fellow

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2981
e: M.Agarwal@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.1.008 - Building 240, Murdoch Campus
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S2-Internal
Dr Manjree Agarwal
Senior Research Fellow

Murdoch Campus
t: 9360 2981
e: M.Agarwal@murdoch.edu.au
o: 240.1.008 - Building 240, Murdoch Campus
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