Sep 19, 2021  
2020-2021 Course Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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AGA 114 - Principles of Agronomy

Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 2
Lab Hours: 2
Practicum Hours: 0
Work Experience: 0
Course Type: Open
A foundation course in agronomy applying crop, soil, and environmental sciences in understanding agricultural systems in the world. Includes introductory concepts of plant, soil, tillage, pest, environmental, and sustainable aspects of crop production. The course will consist of hands-on learning experiences.
Competencies
  1. Examine the economic impact of Iowa production on the state, nation and the world.
    1. List Iowa’s rank in production of major crops
    2. Name states that are major producers of corn, soybeans and alfalfa
    3. Explain the economic importance of crop production in the United States
    4. Outline the economic impact of Iowa crop production on a global scale
    5. Construct a chart of advances in agronomic crop yields over the past fifty years
    6. Review the development of hybrid corn
    7. Summarize production trends for corn
    8. Outline the areas of the country suitable for small grain production
  2. Distinguish the different elements of the environment and its impact on growth patterns.
    1. Explain how climate influences a region’s crop production practices
    2. Outline the effect of adverse weather on crop production
    3. Summarize soil physical, chemical, and biological properties affecting plant growth
    4. Describe the pH scale.
    5. Identify the most desirable soil pH for major Iowa crops production
    6. List the most desirable soil pH on nutrient availability
    7. Interpret the effect of soil pH on nutrient availability
    8. Examine the soil-water relationship as it relates to affecting plant growth and development
    9. Describe growing degree days (GDD)
    10. Discuss the environmental relationship of symbiotic nitrogen fixation of plants used in crop production
    11. Summarize how crop plants react to changing lengths of darkness (photoperiodism) and temperature (vernalization) to trigger the following plant processes: flowering, dormancy, leaf abscission
  3. Evaluate anatomy and physiology at various stages of plant development.
    1. Label diagrams of the vegetative parts of monocotyledon and dicotyledon plants
    2. Explain the form and function of the four main plant organs: roots, stems, leaves and flowers
    3. Label diagrams of the major Iowa crop seed parts.
    4. Illustrate seed germination for both epigeal and hypogeal types of emergence
    5. Contrast the physiological plant processes of photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration and there importance to plant growth and survival.
    6. Define the different plant life cycles: annual, biennial, or perennial
    7. Review the makeup of the vascular system of monocotyledon and dicotyledon plants
    8. Identify the developmental growth stages of the major Iowa crops and forages
  4. Compare & contrast crop improvement strategies.
    1. Investigate the advantages and disadvantages of irrigation
    2. Describe no-till and minimum tillage
    3. Compare fall and spring plowing
    4. State the importance of soil pH on soybean yields
    5. State the importance of narrow rows to high soybean yields
    6. Name the proper time and depth to plant major Iowa crops
    7. List the correct seeding rate for the major Iowa crops
    8. Explain the relationship between high forage yields and profit potential
    9. Select the best time to harvest forages
    10. Summarize the importance of early planting
    11. Review the effect of plant population on yields
    12. State the importance of proper row width
  5. Assess the impact of cropping systems on inputs and outputs.
    1. Identify enterprises adapted to Iowa
    2. Find alternative crop enterprises suited to Iowa
    3. Compare the advantages and disadvantages continuous cropping systems to crop rotational systems and their effects on weed, insect, disease control and risk management
    4. Explain the use of cover cropping systems to prevent erosion, add organic matter, suppress weeds and scavenge mobile nutrients from the soil.
    5. Identify the function of conservation practices used in cropping systems to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, establish wildlife habitat, and enhance wetland resources.
  6. Illustrate the common crop production issues.
    1. Describe crop rotations and their environmental impact
    2. Discuss the importance of crop residue
    3. State how to determine percent slope for each class of land
    4. Illustrate various erosion control practices
    5. Explain what causes soil destruction and the effect on crop plants
    6. Identify tillage practices that prevent the destruction of soil.
    7. Identify the pest (weeds, insects, disease) that effect production of all crops
    8. Review the impact of chemical use on crop production and the environment
    9. Discuss best harvesting and storage practices
  7. Classify the methods employed in seed production.
    1. Define a single cross hybrid
    2. Define a double cross hybrid
    3. Diagram the pedigree of a corn plant
    4. Review the function of detasselling corn
    5. Describe the Iowa soybean and corn yield trials

Competencies Revised Date: 2019



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