Agriscience 2b: Sustaining Human Life

Course Overview

Units at a glance

As you’ve learned, plants need sunlight to grow, but they also need water. In agricultural science, plants are most often supplied with water through irrigation, or the intentional application of water to the plants, or to the ground surrounding the plants. In this unit, you’ll learn how irrigation systems work and about research and discoveries in irrigation science today.

To be healthy, plants have to be provided for and protected. Providing for plants means more than just healthy soil—it also requires that you learn how to apply and use fertilizer. In addition, protecting plants means that you need to know about integrated pest management in all its forms and how to use it to reduce the risks associated with insects, wildlife, and unwanted plants. You also need to understand the laws which govern the use of these chemicals. They can be dangerous, and state and federal governments have protections in place concerning their sale, use, and labeling.

Plants need water to grow in soil, but did you know that there are other farming techniques in which the soil is optional? Hydroponic agriculture uses complex systems to grow many types of crops indoors, feeding them nutrients through a water supply system. Hydroponics can produce very high yields in small spaces in almost any environment, allowing food to be grown closer to the populations that will eat it. As the world looks for sustainable solutions to feeding a growing population, hydroponics is one avenue that is being explored for its versatility.

Landscape science and design implements many of the plant science skills you’ve learned throughout this course. Landscaping enables you to arrange plant materials and outdoor construction and installations in ways that are both functional and decorative. Smart landscape science enables landscaping to serve a number of additional functions, including reducing soil erosion, limiting water use, and cutting heating and cooling costs.

Managing plants and planting sites is essential to keep plants alive in a wide variety of settings, from the garden to the lab. In this unit, you will look at current and future applications of the skills, information, and science you’ve learned in this course. The skills of agriscience are essential to support the future of our population and our planet. Scientists in plant laboratories are working to develop new plant technologies to improve production and nutrition and address key issues of climate change.

Course Highlights

Discover the science behind various types of irrigation systems.
Investigate how technology is revolutionizing the agricultural industry.
Understand the principles and uses of fertilizer and pesticides.
Learn the science behind landscaping.

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