2023-2024 Catalog 
    Nov 29, 2023  
2023-2024 Catalog
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AGRI 103 - Applied Plant Science and Production

4 Credit: (3 lecture, 2 lab, 0 clinical) 5 Contact Hours:

This course presents the principles of plant production, including crops and other commercial plants, grown locally as well as in the United States. Global issues in sustainable agriculture will also be presented. Soil, water, nutrition and disease management of plants will be discussed in lecture, analyzed in lab and/or local production sites. Some field trips may be required as part of the class. 
OFFERED: fall semesters

Course Goals/ Objectives/ Competencies:
Goal 1:  Describe how plants science and food production are related.


  1. Define plant science.
  2. Discuss current crop and commercial plant production in Michigan, US and the world.
  3. Locate statistical data about local, national and global food production.
  4. Relate crop production to food production.
  5. Discuss the role of technology in production agriculture.

Goal 2:  Describe plant anatomy and physiology of crop plants.


  1. Identify the parts of a seed, stem and leaves.
  2. Discuss the role of seeds, stems and leaves in edible plants.
  3. Describe the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration.
  4. Describe flowering, pollination and fertilization processes.

Goal 3:  Describe requirements for producing the major crops and commerical plants.


  1. Describe production of major food plants: corn, soybean, wheat, drybeans, sugarbeets, etc.
  2. Describe requirements for producing other plants that are sold commercially (i.e. horticulture, landscape plants, etc.)
  3. Compare various management practices used in crop and plant production.
  4. Visit local crop productions and/or commercial plant sites (depends instructor preference or available resources).

Goal 4:  Discuss the requirements for growing plants.


  1. Define soil types.
  2. Discuss the biology of soil.
  3. Describe macro and micro nutrient requirements of plants.
  4. Describe water requirements of plants.
  5. Describe the light requirements of plants.
  6. Discuss how temperature can affect plants growth.
  7. Identify common crop diseases and pests.
  8. Explain how diseases and pests are controlled in crops and commercial plants production.
  9. Identify common weeds.
  10. Describe methods and types of weed control.

Goal 5:  Discuss current issues in crop production and methods to improve production.


  1. Discuss sustainable agriculture at the local, national and global levels.
  2. Explain crop rotation and types of tillage to improve crop production.
  3. Describe plant breeding and genetics and their role in crop production and improvement.
  4. Discuss the future of sustainable agriculture.
  5. Evaluate various careers and career pathways in agriculture.

Goal 6:  Use various techniques in the laboratory, greenhouse or production site to investigate crop production and management.


  1. Analyze soils for nutrient content.
  2. Measure yields of selected crops.
  3. Calculate fertilizer requirements for selected crops.
  4. Identify common seeds and plants of major crops.
  5. Analyze management techniques to best use resources for sustainable production of plants.
  6. Review and discuss relevant research data and/or current issues in crop production (as selected by instructor).

Goal 7: Demonstrate an understanding of the scientific method as it relates to crop and soil science.


  1. Define hypothesis and independent, dependent and control variables.
  2. Describe the steps of the scientific process (method).
  3. List characteristics of good scientific methodology and experimentation.
  4. Identify variables, controls and constants in a given experiment or data set.
  5. Interpret data presented in different formats (text, table, graph, etc.).
  6. Draw valid conclusions from data.
  7. Discuss applications of research to crop production.

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