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Facoltā di Scienze Agrarie e Alimentari Universitā degli Studi di Milano
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Cropping systems. 1: herbaceous cropping systems
Code: G590W-
Teacher:  Roberto Confalonieri
Year: 
Term: 
CFU: 
CFU subdivision: Lectures: 4
Practices in classroom: 1,5
Other: 0,5
Basic aims:  Provide students with advanced tools for analyzing and managing
herbaceous cropping systems at different spatial scales.
Acquired skills:  Biophysical modelling used to increase cropping system productivity, as well as to protect them from biotic and abiotic injuries and to minimize their impact. Agroecological indicators and proximal/remote sensing to optimize systems management at farm level. Analysis of cropping systems to support agricultural policies.
Course contents:  Cropping systems will be analyzed at different spatial scales: field,
farm, continental. For each spatial scale, the most suitable tools
for analyzing cropping systems will be presented with the aim of
providing advanced support for the systems optimization. The tools
presented will be simulation models, remote sensing,
agroecological indicators, advanced techniques for analyzing and
evaluating cropping systems.
Program:  The course presents conceptual and IT tools for advance analyses
of herbaceous cropping systems at different spatial scales with the
aim of optimizing their management. For each spatial scale, the
most suitable tools for analyzing and evaluating the systems
studied will be presented. The first spatial level, the field,
considers the integrated evaluation of cropping systems of
interest through the analysis of some case studies and the
production of irrigation and fertilization plans with simulation
models. This spatial level takes also into account some advanced
and recent techniques for crop protection against biotic and a-
biotic injuries. The second spatial level, the farm, uses
agroecological indicators to optimize the temporal and spatial
distribution of crops and to optimize the energy fluxes within the
farm system. The techniques used in the two previous levels can
be used also at large scale (e.g., province, region, catchment).
The third spatial level considered applies some of the concepts
presented and discussed in the previous levels to the analysis of
cropping systems at continental scale. The system for crop
monitoring and yield forecasting developed and used by the
European Commission for supporting the CAP will be presented.
Part of the course will be about a topic considered relevant for the
analysis and management of cropping systems and for which the
current knowledge is considered insufficient. The topic will be
chosen by the students among some teacher's proposals and
analized by carrying out a specific research project, dividing the
students in workpackages and coherently organizing the activities
of analysis/research/dissemination.
Prerequisites:  Basic knowledge for agronomy, plant physiology, ecology, soil
chemistry.
Preparatory instructions:  Basic knowledge for agronomy, plant physiology, ecology, soil
chemistry.
Learning materials:  http://www.robertoconfalonieri.it/teaching_activities.htm (English
version available) Scientific papers will be indicated during the
lessons.
Other info:  The examination is composed of a written test, a practical
exercise using a computer, and a possible oral test.
- The written test consists of (i) 3 questions [0-7 points each];
(ii) 10 quiz [0-1 points each]; the maximum score for this part
is 31/30 (30 cum laude).
- The practical exercise consists of optimizing irrigations and
fertilizations in a given cropping system using a simulation
model; the maximum score for this part is 30 cum laude.
- The oral test (in case requested by the student or by the
teacher) consists of 3 questions [from -2 to +2 points each, to
be added to the average of the scores achieved in the written
and practical tests].
DOWNLOAD
Program of Cropping systems. 1: herbaceous cropping systems (pdf version)
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