Soil Management (Crops)

Course CodeBHT103
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
  

Learn Soil Management for Crop Production

Good soil conditions are critical to the healthy growth of most plants.

Over eight lessons this course will develop an understanding of physical and chemical properties of soils, the ability to carry out simple tests and determine soil characteristics, and to decide ways of treating a soil to improve its ability to grow plants.

The course is specifically designed for crop production.

 




 

 



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Lesson Structure

There are 7 lessons in this course:

  1. Physical & Chemical Properties of Soils
  2. Soil Testing Methods
  3. Sustainable Soil Management
  4. Soils & Managing Earthworks
  5. Land Degradation & Other Soil Problems
  6. Soil Science & Health
  7. Soil Management

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Explain the physical and chemical properties of soils suitable for crop production.
  • Use soil testing methods to assess soils characteristics suitable for crop productioN.
  • Describe appropriate techniques for sustainable soil management for crop production.
  • Explain the methods used in managing earthworks in a way which is sensitive to soil condition.
  • Identify and propose solutions for a number of problems that may occur with soils for crop production.
  • Describe the relationship between soil characteristics and plant health.
  • Describe appropriate techniques for soil management in crop production

How to Revive a Degraded Soil


Degraded soil can be brought back to "good health" by using organic methods of growing.  One of the main methods of improving the quality of soil is to use mulches extensively.  Mulches are layers of material which are spread across the surface of the soil. Through the use of mulches, you can:

  • Reduce Erosion: Mulch acts as a protective blanket over the soil surface, preventing soil particles from being removed by wind and water.  
  • Reduce Weeds: The barrier of mulch makes if difficult for weed seeds to penetrate through to the soil layer. The need for constant hoeing and spraying is thus eliminated, and the odd weed which does emerge usually has very shallow roots and is much easier to pull out by hand.
  • Prevent soil from drying out: Mulches shade the soil surface and slow down the rate of evaporation; mulched soils thus require less watering.  
  • Provide a source of nutrients: Over time, all organic material decomposes, releasing a store of nutrients into the soil. Although not all mulches are organic (e.g. black plastic sheeting, gravel, etc. are often used as mulching material), organic mulches are an extremely useful way of building up the soil's nutrient level.  
  • Provide a buffer against temperature variations: Exposed soil has little capacity to resist temperature extremes, and plants growing in soil which has not been mulched, often suffer from the effects of very cold or hot weather.  

There are a number of other ways you can improve the long term health of problem soils. 

Composting - adding composted organic materials is one of the most important principles of organic gardening.

Adding materials to soil to improve structure:

  • Add sand to clay soils to improve drainage.
  • Add clay or organic material to sandy soil to improve its ability to hold water.
  • Add organic matter which will improve water holding capacity (although not to the same degree as the addition of clay will).
  • Add sand, organic matter or gypsum to help break up a clay soil, making cultivation easier (although the two will act in different ways).
  • Add organic matter to improve the nutritional status of the soil.
  • Use soil ameliorants   Lime, Gypsum, Sulphates, Clay Breaker.
  • Use crop rotations and correct cultivation.
  • Choose plant species which will give maximum benefit to your soil e.g. legumes.
 

WHO BENEFITS FROM DOING THIS COURSE?

Market gardeners, those working on cropping farms who need a broader understanding of soils, hobby farmers, all need to understand their soil and how the ways in which you treat them will not only influence the health of your soil but also the health of the crops you grow in them. This course is a great way to gain tha knowledge and peace of mind that you are helping rather than hindering soil health.

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Credentials

Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau
Member of the Institute of Horticulture Careers Advisory Bureau

Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network
Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network

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

Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association

ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council



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  Marie Beerman

Marie has over 7 years in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie has been a co author of several ebooks in recent years, including "Roses" and "Climbing Plants". Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M.Hort. Dip. Bus. Cert. Ldscp.
  Marie Beerman

Marie has over 7 years in horticulture and education in both Australia and Germany. Marie has been a co author of several ebooks in recent years, including "Roses" and "Climbing Plants". Marie's qualifications include B. Sc., M.Hort. Dip. Bus. Cert. Ldscp.
  Rosemary Davies

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 (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. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
  Rosemary Davies

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 (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. In 1999 Rosemary was BPW Bendigo Business Woman of the Year and is one of the founders and the Patron, of the Friends of the Bendigo Botanic gardens. She has completed her 6th book this year and is working on concepts for several others. Rosemary has a B Ed, BSc Hort, Dip Advertising & Marketing
  Organic Gardening
For decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
  Organic Gardening
For decades farmers have relied upon chemicals to control pests and diseases in order to produce saleable crops. In the ornamental, vegetable and fruit gardens reliance on chemical controls has also been the mainstay for many gardeners.
  Getting Work in Horticulture
Find out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.
  Getting Work in Horticulture
Find out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.