751-3402-00L  Plant Nutrition II - Integrated Nutrient Management

SemesterSpring Semester 2020
LecturersA. Oberson Dräyer
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionGerman
CommentOnly for Students in BSc/MSc Agricultural Sciences and Students in MSc Environmental or Food Sciences.
Number of participants limited to 40.

AbstractTeaching knowledge on nutrient fluxes in agroecosystems so as to maximize nutrient use efficiency by crops and minimize losses to the environment while providing optimal nutrient supply to crops. Methods to establish nutrient budgets are presented. Nutrient input and output variables (e.g. losses by various pathways) are treated and their optimal management presented.
ObjectiveAt the end of the lecture the students can establish nutrient budgets, can critically evaluate agricultural systems as source of elements for the environment and can propose agricultural practices that limit these losses while maximizing nutrient use efficiency and optimizing nutrient supply to crops.
ContentThis course provides understanding of integrated nutrient management in agro-ecosystems so as to maximize nutrient use efficiency by crops while minimizing nutrient losses to the environment at optimal nutrient supply to the crop. The characteristics of input and output variables will be treated. These variables encompass organic (e.g. animal manure, plant residues, recycled organic wastes) and mineral fertilizers (e.g. minerals and products from recycling), symbiotic nitrogen fixation, nutrient deposition and pathways of nutrient losses. Measures to mitigate nutrient losses to the environment will be presented. Different methods will be taught so as to calculate nutrient budgets at various levels of the agro-ecosystem. Using case studies on nutrient rich and nutrient poor agro-ecosystems, strategies for an optimal nutrient management will be discussed that integrate attributes of soils, plants and fertilizers.

In particular the treatment of case studies results in interactive lectures. Exercises done outside the classes help to foster the matter. Finally, they work on a focal topic of their interest. This is either i) the analysis and presentation of a paper, or ii) the analysis of the nutrient status of a farm by the means of nutrient budgeting and the development of integrated fertilization system including a modified scenario of that farm. In either case, they work in groups and present the outcome in an oral presentation (including peer feedback) of in a short written report.