Advanced Certificate in Crop Production

Training for professional horticulturists on farms, orchards or nurseries. Use what you learn to start your own market garden. Study horticultural crop production by distance education.

Course Code: VHT076
Fee Code: AC
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 900 hours
Qualification Advanced Certificate
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Develop a Broad Knowledge Base in Growing Crops 

This comprehensive course provides students with a solid background into growing a variety of crops.

Learn about how to increase crop yield and quality in outdoor and indoor production systems. Find out how crop production is influenced by soil types, soil pH, temperature, pests and diseases.

Prepare yourself with knowledge you can use in a range of crop growing situations and workplaces, or use what you learn to establish your own production farm. 

An exceptional qualification for anyone who wants to excel in a Career in Production Horticulture.

  •    has been developed and is taught by a team of exceptional horticulturists, all highly qualified and with years of industry experience. Our faculty -your teachers -are people who have worked in the real world, any most continue to work in horticulture outside of education, giving us an up to date perspective on the industry today, and where it is moving.

What You Study

There are 8 modules (subjects) to be studied, plus 100 hours work experience.

The modules are divided into 6 core modules and 2 elective modules. 


Work Experience

This can be made up of paid or voluntary employment, industry conferences or seminars. We expect you will be able to undertake this however if you're unable to complete it you can alternatively study a module from the school called Workshop 1 which comprises of three problem based learning projects. This option is easily undertaken anywhere in the world. Another option is the Industry Project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Certificate in Crop Production.
 Industry Project I BIP000
 Machinery and Equipment BSC105
 Outdoor Plant Production (Crops I) BHT112
 Soil Management (Crops) BHT103
 Commercial Vegetable Production BHT222
 Horticultural Resource Management BHT203
 Protected Plant Production BHT223
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 2 of the following 31 modules.
 Biochemistry I (Plants) BSC102
 Botany I (Plant Physiology And Taxonomy) BSC104
 Herb Culture BHT114
 Horticultural Research I BHT118
 Hydroponic Supply and Consultancy VHT119
 Botany II (Plant Growth and Development) BSC204
 Culinary Herbs VHT242
 Cut Flower Orchids VHT240
 Cut Flower Production BHT221
 Fruit Production - Temperate Climate BHT218
 Fruit Production - Warm Climate BHT217
 Greenhouse Cut Flowers VHT239
 Greenhouse Management BHT257
 Horticultural Research II BHT241
 Hydroponic Management (Hydroponics II) BHT213
 Hydroponics I BHT224
 Irrigation - Crops BHT204
 Medicinal Herbs BHT227
 Nut Production BHT219
 Plant Breeding BHT236
 Plant Protection BHT207
 Agronomy II - Grains BAG309
 Aquaponic Production BHT319
 Berry Production BHT309
 Cut Flower Bulbs BHT317
 Food Processing and Technology BSS301
 Horticultural Marketing BHT304
 Hydroponics III BHT321
 Mushroom Production BHT310
 Organic Plant Culture BHT302
 Warm Climate Nuts BHT308
 

Note that each module in the Advanced Certificate in Crop Production is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


Growing Crops in a Protected Structure such as a Greenhouse

Greenhouses are used to grow commercial crops all around the world; in the ground, in containers, and using hydroponic culture.

Greenhouses allow us to produce crops for an extended period, or out of season.

Common greenhouse crops include vegetables, cut flowers and certain berry fruits.

A greenhouse is only as good as its user!  You can grow all sorts of plants in a greenhouse, and achieve all types of things, which you might not be able to achieve otherwise, whether growing as a hobby or commercially. 
However the greenhouse is only a tool which enables you to keep your plants a little warmer and perhaps control a few other aspects of their growing conditions.  You must know what conditions the plant needs and try to create those conditions with your greenhouse.  Greenhouses are very labour intensive you must watch the greenhouse carefully and adjust the way you are managing it if the conditions start to vary from what is desired. In the summer this may mean monitoring it every day, particularly if the greenhouse does not have automatic watering and ventilation systems.
You need to decide what you will grow in the greenhouse, and be aware that different plants have different requirements. It may not be possible to grow a great variety of plants in the greenhouse and get the very best out of each one...if each of those plants has different growth requirements.

 

 

The Greenhouse Business

The greenhouse is an expensive outlay the cost of which will naturally vary according to your needs, however no matter how large or small the set-up is it will take some time to “pay for itself”. In order to choose the type of greenhouse structure that will suit your budget, productivity requirements and also enables you to have an efficient and productive system within your specific nursery environment, it is important to be aware of the many designs that are available, and to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each design.

Before choosing a greenhouse facility an overall business plan should be formulated. This means that even if the initial choice is modest, a long term plan that includes the prospect of growth within the business allows for the addition of extra structures and facilities. This will serve to save money in the long term as the need to move structures due to bad placement or discard structures due to unsuitability is hopefully eliminated. Systems should be chosen so that they can be added to later on, as the business grows, at the least possible cost.
A business strategy should include: Marketing, production, financial and human resources plans. However the overall business plan should be formulated after you have researched and considered the following strategic elements:

  • Identify your market and customer needs

  • Define your mission

  • Set your business goals

  • What are your objectives?

  • Research business opportunities and issues that will affect your business

  • Formulate a basic business strategy

  • Implement and evaluate the strategy


The Greenhouse System

Thinking of a greenhouse as a system, rather then a structure, will help to reduce problems in the future, consider the following points before choosing a greenhouse system:

  • Site - is it accessible? Take into consideration delivery of materials, access to (and for) customers, available light, wind and other climatic factors i.e. snow, topography, drainage, restrictions through local government by-laws and regulations, what planning permits do you require?

  • Environmental control systems including heating, ventilation and the ability to conserve energy.

  • Water supply and irrigation systems

  • Availability of other services such as electricity and gas

  • The plant production system- including the inputs and outputs of the system

  • The availability of labour

 WHAT WILL THIS COURSE DO FOR YOU?

You will develop the skills and knowledge required to work in production horticulture at management level.

This course is different to many others. It is an "experiential based" learning program; designed to get you involved with the horticulture industry as you study. The industry is changing faster than ever; and will continue to change; and for ongoing success you need to become "connected" and remain "connected", so that you see and adapt to recent changes, and ongoing changes as your career moves forward.

 

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

Principal of ACS Distance Education, John Mason, is fellow of the CIH.

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.

ACS is a Preferred Member Training Provider with the Australian Institute of Horticulture. ACS students meeting AIH criteria can join AIH as a Category 2 student member.


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).


What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course is aimed at providing you with a solid understanding of the subject. It has been designed to take 600 hours, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and more. When you complete the course, will have a good understanding of the area/ industry you want to work in.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exams (8-9 exams) and you will be able receive your course certificate- an Advanced Certificate. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email acs@oamps.com.au.


Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.


How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.


What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email (admin@acs.edu.au) call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.


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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Dr. Lynette Morgan

Broad expertise in horticulture and crop production. She travels widely as a partner in Suntec Horticultural Consultants, and has clients in central America, the USA, Caribbean, South East Asia, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

John Mason (Horticulturist)

Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant.
Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK.
He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world.

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Leading horticultural expert in Australia.
Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (c





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Kerry Claydon

BA-BSc (Psychology, Computer Science, Aquaculture), BSc (Hons Microbiology), PhD (Microbiology), Diploma in Brewing Science

Kerry has over 20 years’ experience in various fields of microbiology including aquatic microbiology, medical microbiology, agricultural microbiology, and brewing microbiology. Kerry has been the Director of several health programs within Australian and Asia and is a passionate teacher and tutor.

Rosemary Davies

Originally from Melbourne, Rosemary trained in Horticultural Applied Science at Burnley, a campus of Melbourne University. Initially she worked with Agriculture Victoria as an extension officer, taught horticulture students, worked on radio with ABC radio (clocking up over 24 years as a presenter of garden talkback programs, initially the only woman presenter on gardening in Victoria) and she simultaneously developed a career as a writer.

She then studied Education and Training, teaching TAFE apprentices and developing curriculum for TAFE, before taking up an offer as a full time columnist with the Herald and Weekly Times and its magazine department after a number of years as columnist with the Age. She has worked for a number of companies in writing and publications, PR community education and management and has led several tours to Europe.

Parita Shah

Parita has a Masters Degree in Horticulture specializing in Plantation, Spices, Medicinal and Aromatic crops and Organic farming. She has worked as a freelance consultant, and in an Avocado nursery in NSW as grafting and preparing avocado clones.

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