Unit Code: AGR602

Unit Title: Soil Fertility & Management

Soil fertility and management are the basis of successful agriculture farming. This unit covers concepts of soil fertility and productivity, and the many factors influencing productivity including soil texture, structure, depth, water holding capacity, porosity, density, pH, salinity, organic matter levels, total and available nutrients levels, and macro and microorganisms. Students also learn about plant nutrition including the role of macro and microelements and deficiency symptoms.  Practical soil fertility evaluation is covered including soil tests, tissue tests, use of deficiency symptoms and biological tests. Students explore soil management practices including the use of fertilizers, the types and recommendations for Solomon islands.

Soil and water conservation, the roles of organic matter in improving soil are covered and demonstrated. Soil management systems are examined and compared, including: shifting cultivation, multiple cropping, agroforestry, and crop rotation and composting. Finally, students address soil fertility problems in Solomon Islands, environmental pollution associated with farming, and the importance of land use planning in agricultural development at small and large scales.