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This subject examines three key factors that impact on the health of plants: pests (insects and mites), weeds and pathogens. Students will learn how to identify common pest, disease and weed species and understand how to manage and control them, using biological principles and various control methods. Maintaining the health of horticultural crops will be approached from different perspectives such as Integrated Pest Management, beneficial insects, genetic modification, crop rotation, chemical and biological controls. Safe practices when using chemicals will be discussed, as will the legislation pertaining to pests, and noxious and environmental weeds.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should be able to:
- know the difference between biotic and abiotic symptoms on plants;
- identify horticulturally important insects and mites, disease and weed species;
- understand the concept of Integrated Pest Management;
- be aware of the different insecticide, miticide, herbicide and fungicide groups and their role in chemical resistance;
- comprehend the biological attributes of weediness and the various ways to manage and control weeds;
- have an awareness of the different symptoms on plants caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and oomycetes;
- know how to adopt good practices to control or reduce the likelihood of diseases in nurseries, orchards and gardens; and
- be familiar with the key areas on chemical labels and understand the principles and practice of the safe backpack spray application of chemicals.
• Exercise problem-solving skills (developed through practical exercises and lecture discussions);
• Think critically and organise knowledge (from consideration of the lecture material);
• Expand from theoretical principles to practical explanations (through observing practical work);
• Plan effective work schedules (to meet deadlines for submission of assessable work); and
• Develop skills of critical observation and analysis developed through practical exercises.
Last updated: 1 February 2023