Organic Farming


Organic Farming

Organic Farming BAG305
 
Course Code BAG305
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Payment Options Upfront & Payment Plans
Delivery Online & Correspondence
Duration 100 Hours

 
Course Information

In the past organic farm production was often considered as being only for radicals or hippies. Now it is seen as a viable economic move – with benefits to the farm soil, to the environment, and to the purchasers of the products. An organic approach can contribute toward making a farm more financially viable in several ways:

1. First, it is a low input way of farming. You do not need to invest so much money in expensive chemicals and fertilisers. However, any declines in initial production are balanced against these reduced costs.

2. Second, it is less likely to result in land degradation than many other production methods; hence the long-term cost of sustaining production is less. 

3. Thirdly, public demand for organic produce has markedly increased over recent years.

Some of the reasons for the increase in public demand for organic produce are:

  • Organically farmed food tastes better, according to many consumers.
  • Organic food is produced without GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).
  • Organic farming places emphasis on animal welfare.
  • Organic systems aim to reduce dependence on non-renewable resources.
  • Organic production aims towards sustainability in the environment.
  • Food safety scares, such as Mad Cow Disease.

Farming Systems

Farms raise animals or plants. At a certain stage of growth, produce is obtained from the animal or plant, sometimes by killing the organism (eg. to obtain meat), and sometimes removing something (eg. eggs, fruit, wool), without killing the organism. In some cases whole plant may need to be raised again from seed or cutting.
For most farm products, there are different ways of producing the "final product" (ie. different production systems).

Variables
The following are examples of variables in both conventional and organic farming systems:

  • Meat or plants may be grown fast or slow (quality and tenderness of food may be affected by speed of growth).
  • Most produce (eg. meat, fruit, wheat, etc) can be grown in a natural situation with minimum human intervention; or a more unnatural situation, with greater human intervention.
  • Produce may be grown on a small scale, or on a large scale.
  • Systems can be monocultures (producing one thing only) or poly-cultures (where different animals and plants are integrated so that different products are taken from the same enterprise).
  • Some systems are more labour intensive; others (eg. mechanised systems) may be more manageable. 
  • Land-care considerations may restrict the systems available (eg. to prevent land degradation, it may be necessary to use a particular type of system). Generally poly-cultures are less likely to cause land degradation.

Choosing a Production System

Why choose one system rather than another?

  • For marketing reasons (eg. being able to say it is organically grown may make a product more marketable).
  • Because it suits the property.
  • Because it is less expensive.
  • Because the farmer has ethical and environmental concerns

ORGANIC FARMING - BAG305

 Duration:  100 Hours (you study at your own pace).

 COURSE AIMS

  • 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.
  • Contrive 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 

COURSE STRUCTURE

There are ten lessons in this module as follows:

1.Introduction to Organic Farming – scope, nature, history, types of organic farming

2.Integrated Farm Management Systems – rotation design, cash crops, managing 
waste, permaculture, polyculture, biodynamics etc

3.Organic Management Issues – certification, environmental concerns, marketing, PR

4.Organic Soil Management and Crop Nutrition –composting, mulching, green 
manuring, cover crops, organic fertilisers

5.Weed Management : selecting appropriate techniques of control, weed identification

6.Pest and Disease Management: Animals & Plants

7.Livestock Management I: Beef, Dairy, Sheep and Pigs.

8.Livestock Management II :Poultry, Goats, Alpacas, Ostriches, Deer

9. Pasture: Pasture Varieties, Management Principles, Intensive systems, nitrogen
fixation, correct seed mix, risks with legumes,

10.Crops (eg. Wheat, Plant Fibre, Hay and Silage, Mung Beans, Sesame seed, etc)

WHAT YOU WILL DO IN THIS COURSE

Here are just some examples of the type of things you may do in this course:

  • 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
  • Review 25 weeds
  • 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.
Finance options

If you are an Irish citizen you may be eligible to receive financial support, meaning you can defer payment of your course fees. Additionally, if you are a resident of Ireland, you may also be eligible to receive a student grant under the Student Grant Scheme

Student support

We live in a society where the pressures of daily living are high with financial expenses, personal and work commitments, and mortgage and rental obligations. Then there are the unexpected life challenges that also get thrown our way. With this in mind the thought of taking on study can be daunting for most people. Here at Learning Cloud we understand that life doesn’t run in a straight line it has many ups and downs.

As an enrolled student at Learning Cloud, you are entitled to access a variety of non-academic support services from the Student Services Unit. These supports are designed to walk beside you throughout your studies they will assist you in life’s ups and downs to provide you the best opportunity to successfully complete your chosen course.

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How will this course advance my career?

Learning Cloud programs have been developed in response to industry demand and are specifically designed to equip graduates with work-ready skills. Each participant will be trained and assessed in theory and in practical tasks and Real-world exercises are used throughout the program.

Studies prove, time and again, that college-educated workers earn more than those with only a high school qualification. College graduates often enjoy additional benefits, including greater job opportunities and promotions. Though the proof for greater earning potential exists, some might wonder whether the cost of the education warrants the overall expense in the long run.

College Graduate vs. Non-Graduate Earnings

The National Centre for Education Statistics (NCES) analyses employee earnings data biennially, according to education level. Findings indicate that workers with a qualification earn significantly more than those without. Since the mid-1980s, education has played a large part in potential wages, with bachelor's degree holders taking home an average of 66% more than those with only a high school diploma do. While college-educated workers' wages have increased over the past two decades, those with only a high school education have seen decreases in annual salaries in the same time period (nces.ed.gov).

How else will I benefit from studying with Learning Cloud?

  • Studying online or distance means you can study where you want and at your own pace.
  • Receive career-focused training with practical, hands-on learning.
  • All course materials are provided and all digital platforms are interactive, work on any device and designed to be fun.
  • Recognition of Prior Learning or Skills Recognition may be available for previous work experience, formal training or qualifications in this field.

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