Learn about integrated farm management systems, organic management issues, sustainable soil management and much more.
Adopting an organic approach to farming
can make great sense, providing foods free from artificial chemicals,
and creating a more sustainable environment.
Students taking this course will:
- Learn about integrated farm management systems.
- Understand organic management issues.
- Be conversant with sustainable soil management, and much more.
- The course is suitable for farmers, farm workers, agriculture students and anyone working in farm supplies and services.
COURSE STRUCTURE AND CONTENT
Course Duration: 100 hours.
Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.
Lessons: The course comprises 10 lessons as outlined, below.
Lesson 1. Introduction to Organic Farming
Scope; Nature; History; Types of organic farming.
Lesson 2. Integrated Farm Management Systems
Rotation design; Cash crops; Managing waste; Permaculture; Polyculture; Biodynamics etc.
Lesson 3. Organic Management Issues
Certification; Environmental concerns; Marketing; PR.
Lesson 4. Organic Soil Management and Crop Nutrition
Composting; Mulching; Green manuring; Cover crops; Organic fertilisers.
Lesson 5. Weed Management
Selecting appropriate techniques of control; Weed identification.
Lesson 6. Pest and Disease Management
Lesson 7. Livestock Management I
Beef; Dairy; Sheep; Pigs.
Lesson 8. Livestock Management II
Poultry; Goats; Alpacas; Ostriches; Deer.
Lesson 9. Pasture
Pasture Varieties; Management Principles; Intensive systems; Nitrogen fixation; Correct seed mix; Risks with legumes.
Lesson 10. Crops
Wheat; Plant Fibre; Hay and Silage; Mung Beans; Sesame seeds, etc.
On successful completion of the course you should be able to do the following:
- Discuss the scope and nature of organic farming in today’s world.
- Select appropriate organic management systems for different organic farms.
- Understand the environmental, economic and political issues concerning organic farming.
- Explain the role of living organisms
and decomposing organic matter in creating and maintaining an
appropriate soil condition for successful organic farming.
- Determine and apply appropriate weed management practices for an organic farm.
- Select and apply appropriate pest and disease management practices for both animal and plant production on an organic farm.
- Design an appropriate system for organic production of cattle, sheep and pigs.
- Design an appropriate system for organic production of poultry and other miscellaneous animals.
- Design an appropriate system for organic pasture management.
- Explain the broad-acre organic production of a grain or legume crop.
WHAT THE COURSE COVERS
Here are just some of the things you will be doing:
- Investigate Organic industry such as, Certifying Organisations, Producers or organic farming groups in your locality or region.
- Determine allowable inputs to an organic farm certifying in your area.
- Discuss how an organic farm requires more labour than a conventional farm.
- Visit an organic farm, either a real visit or virtual visit if that is not possible.
- Prepare a plan for an organic farm.
- Describe the conversion process for one of the organic farms.
- Investigate organic market potential.
- Prepare a compost heap.
- Prepare a diagram of a healthy soil food web.
- Prepare a weed collection (25 weeds – either pressings or illustrations).
- Determine appropriate weed control within allowable organic farming limits.
- Describe the life cycle of three animal parasites.
- Describe habitat requirements of various predatory insects.
- Survey one or more farms regarding animal production systems.
- How can the animals above be integrated into a vegetable or fruit production system.
- Determine organic solutions to different farming problems.
- Investigate different pasture management systems.
THE ORGANIC APPROACH TO FARMING
Conventional farming often depends on using artificial fertilisers and chemicals to:
Artificial fertilisers give excellent short-term gains
For very little work, farmers that use such fertilisers are able to make
a living from even the poorest quality soils. However, we pay a high
price for those quick returns. Both long and short-term fertiliser use
causes a range of environmental problems including soil salinity, algal
blooms in waterways, nitrification and erosion.
Sustainability - the organic approach
A very significant part of organic farming, whether animal or crop
production; is to create fertile, well structured soils that support
both plant and soil animal life without harming the environment. Organic
matter is recycled through the system to provide nutrients for plants
and to improve and maintain the condition of the soil.
All animals raised in certified organic operations must be allowed
access to the outdoors, and kept in living conditions that accommodate
the natural behaviour of the animals.
They must be wholly fed on feed from organic sources. They may not
routinely be given antibiotics, hormones or medications, but they may be
vaccinated against certain diseases. Diseases and parasites are
controlled through preventative measures such as sanitary housing,
stress reduction, rotational grazing and balanced diet.
HOW THE COURSE WORKS
You can start the course at any time.
It is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of
your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.
Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every
step of the way. If you have any questions at all, they are always
happy to help.
Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment
which the student submits to their course tutor. The tutor will mark
the assignment and return this to the student with comments and
suggestions for further reading.
WHY STUDY WITH ACS?
- Our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals, so you know you can expect a high quality of teaching and support.
- You can start the course at any time and study at your own pace.
- Fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.
- Study where you want to - online studies offer the flexibility for you to determine where and when you study.
HELPING YOU CHOOSE THE RIGHT COURSE
If you are looking for a course to -
- update your existing farming knowledge
- expand your knowledge to organic farming
- improve your job and career prospects
- gain detailed knowledge of organic farming
Then this is the course for you.
You can study at your own pace and at a location that is convenient to you.
If you have any questions at all, our agricultural tutors are more than happy to help, so please ask.