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ACE3037 : Crop Pests Field Course

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Paul Bilsborrow
  • Other Staff: Mr Simon Parker
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To give students the opportunity to develop, with guidance
- familiarity with different kinds of pests
- skills in identifying animal pests, weeds, and diseases in the field
- experience in assessing factors affecting their impact
- exposure to leading farm businesses within the industry
- engagement with recognised experts within the arable industry
- potential to acquire understand current challenges in crop production
- an introduction to the fresh produce sector

Outline Of Syllabus

The Module takes the form of a two week intensive field course.
1. Diseases
- Diagnosis of diseases of agricultural and horticultural crops, weeds, and wild plants. Diversity of fungal pathogens.
- Quantitative assessment of disease severity as influenced by plant disease resistance and chemical control.
- Analysis of patterns of disease spread by dispersal of spores.
2. Weeds
- Identification of weeds in arable crops and grassland.
- Association of different weed species with different weed control programmes in conventional systems and lower-input, integrated systems.
3. Pests
- Identification of the major pests of arable crops
4. Managing a arable focused farming business
5. An introduction to the Fresh Produce sector

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion144:0044:00Preparation for field course report
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork78:0056:00Two week intensive Field course
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is a two week intensive field course which revolves around site and industry visits. Fieldwork (site visits) links the applied nature of the module to applied research and commercial agricultural production.
The identification and control of the major pests of arable crops is developed via a series of field visits to commercial farms, industry, research organisation and demonstration events.
Communication skills are developed via engagement with leading industry experts.
The field course helps to develop numerical skills in terms of the handling of plant material, statistical analysis and data interpretation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M100Field course report
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Field Course Report promotes and develops the principles of identification of the major arable weeds present in UK agriculture, their importance, life-cycle and the options available for their control.
The Report evaluates the effect of variety and fungicide programme on disease levels, growth and yield of wheat via the requirement for statistical analysis and interpretation of data.

Reading Lists