Course code LauZ2038

Credit points 3

Basics in Agronomy I

Total Hours in Course120

Number of hours for lectures16

Number of hours for laboratory classes32

Independent study hours72

Date of course confirmation09.01.2012

Responsible UnitInstitute of Soil and Plant Science

Course developers

author Augsnes un augu zinātņu institūts

Ingrīda Augšpole

Dr. sc. ing.


Andris Bērziņš

Dr. agr.

Course abstract

The aim of the study course is to provide an understanding of soil properties, characteristics of its mineral and organic parts, balance of organic matter in the soil and plant nutrition, soil pH, basics about mineral fertilizers; soil management as a discipline; the main factors affecting plant life and principles of soil management; concepts of weeds, their damage and possibilities of control, basic principles of crop sequence and crop rotation; to determine the task of soil tillage and farming systems. Get to know the basics of field crop production.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Knowledge: knows soil formation processes, soil treatment practices, field crops and their protection, the necessity of crop rotation and soil tillage. Knows to analyse the crop sector, justify crop rotation, soil tillage, the necessity of soil fertilisation and weed containment – exam.
Skills: students know how to recognise the most common weeds. In practical classes use weed herbarium catalog – test.

Competencies: Can prepare presentations and informative materials about the agriculture sector, as well as justify own opinion – homework.

Course Content(Calendar)

Planned lectures:
1. Soil and its properties. Soil genetic material. Relief – a factor of agricultural production. Soil as the main part of ecosystem, its functions. The characterisation of soil organic and mineral matters. Factors of soil formation. Physical and chemical properties of soil – the basics of a productive agricultural system. The basics of Latvian soil qualification, soil field research methods. Characterisation of main soil types. Soil mapping and evaluation. Soil cultivation and its formation process. Soil degradation – causes and prevention techniques – 4 h.
2. Basics of agrochemistry. Soil properties, their classification. Types and importance of the use of organic fertilizers. Storage of classification and storage of mineral fertilisers. The impact of fertilisers on the quality of crop yields and the environment - 4 h.
3. Field crop production. The concept of field crop production. Basic laws of field crop production. Soil cultivation methods in crop production. The concept of weeds and their harmfulness. Characterisation of weeds by nutrition type, life expectancy, type of reproduction and distribution. Characteristics of the most common weeds in Latvia. Weed control measures. Basic concepts of crop rotation. Basic principles for crop change. Design and learning of crop rotation. Soil tillage tasks. Ploughing as one of the types of basic soil tillage. Principles for the assessment of the quality of the crop – 4 h.
4. Crop production. Tasks of crop production for the provision of food to residents, the most important crops in the world and Latvia. The use of solar energy in the production of harvests. The classification of arable crops, the seed material, its preparation for sowing, the varieties, its importance. Winter cereals and spring cereals. Types of sowing, sowing time, density, maintenance of sowing fields, harvesting, pre-processing of grain. Agro-engineering of potatoes and root plants. Perennial grasslands, grassland and grazing – 4 h.

List of planned laboratory works:
1. Granulometric composition and properties of the soil. Classification of soils – 3 h.
2. Fertilisers. Mineral fertilisers and organic fertilisers – 3 h.
3. Determination of the agrophysical properties of the soil – 3 h.
4. Herbaria of the most common weeds in Latvia. Weed detection – 3 h.
5. Seed, root system collections – 3 h.
6. Plant change and crop rotation. Planning of the plant change and crop rotation system
in the farm – 3 h.
7. Restrictive measures for weeds – 3 h.
8. Wheat, rye, barley, oats, triticale, quinoa, amaranth – 3 h.
9. Potatoes, their varieties and uses – 3 h.
10. Peas, vetches, beans. The role of pulses and legumes in rural farming – 2 h.

11. Grassland and grazing plants herbarium – 3 h.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Written exam. The exam consists of:

• Successfully passed written exam on the theoretical and practical parts of the course; must receive a grade: passed (with a mark).

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

Prepare a presentation (5 – 7 min) on the subject of agronomy and its relation.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

In order to receive a grade for exam, absolutely all above mentioned tasks have to be passed with a positive mark: if the work is not graded with a mark, then it has to be “credited”; if the work is graded with a mark (10 point-scale), then the mark has to be at least 4.

Compulsory reading

1. Kārkliņš A. Zeme, augsne, mēslojums: Terminu skaidrojošā vārdnīca. Jelgava: LLU, 2012. 477 lpp.
2. Nikodemus O., Kārkliņš A., Kļaviņš M., Melecis V., Augsnes ilgtspējīga izmantošana un aizsardzība. Rīga: LU akadēmiskais apgāds, 2008. 256 lpp.
3. Augkopība. A.Ružas red. Jelgava: LLU, 2004. 374 lpp.
4. Augkopība. Rokasgrāmata. A.Ružas red. Jelgava: LLKC, 2001. 324 lpp.

5. Lapiņš D., Kažotnieks J. Laukkopība. Ozolnieki: LLKC, 2001. 247 lpp.

Further reading

1. Kārkliņš A., Līpenīte I. Aprēķinu metodes un normatīvi augsnes iekultivēšanai un mēslošanas līdzekļu lietošanai. Jelgava: LLU, 2018. 200 lpp.
2. Kroģere R. Zemkopības praktikums. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1984. 120 lpp.
3. Zemkopība. S.Pogodina red. Rīga: Zvaigzne, 1983. 290 lpp.

4. Publikācijas specializētos izdevumos: žurnāli Agrotops, u.c.

Periodicals and other sources

1. AgroTops. Rīga: Aģentūra Agro apgāds. ISSN 1407-5164
2. Saimnieks LV. Rīga: TEE BIO, 2004- ISSN 1691-1598.

3. Agro Pols: informatīvs lauku politikas biļetens - aktīvam lauku saimniekam. Rīga: Latvijas Valsts agrārās ekonomikas institūts. ISSN 1407-8996.


Obligatory course for TF academic bachelor study programme Agricultural Engineering, subprogramme – Agricultural Machinery.