Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Advanced Crop Production

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 1
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsible
  • Kristian Thorup-Kristensen (3-727b724777736c7535727c356b72)
  • Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences
Course number: NPLK16001U

Course content

Overall theme: Improving crop production

The course will deal with modern developed cropping systems, mainly in temperate areas of the world. The outset will be the need to increase yields and resource efficiency of cropping systems. In the decades ahead, there will be a need for increased crop production, but this has to be achieved within strong limitations on the resource input and no chance to increase the area of cropped land.

The students should understand the main agronomic constraints for increasing crop productivity, the methods currently used to develop crops, crop management and cropping systems (increasing yield potential, as well as closing the yield gap), and the science behind this.

Apart from the teaching based on textbook material and scientific papers, the students will also work with Danish case farms. They will visit farms, and get access to detailed farm data. They will work with crop optimization and cropping system optimization, in order to understand on-farm limitations and constraints to optimizing crop production and closing the yield gap.

Following topics will be addressed for class teaching and student work, including working with the Danish case farm. The topics can be divided in the improvement of single crops and in the cropping system.


Improving the single crops:

  • Management - improved use of growth factors

  • Progress in breeding

  • Physiology of crop improvement

  • Development of major crops

  • Yield gap


Improving the cropping system improvement:

  • Development of major world cropping systems

  • Dealing with main system limitations in rotation

  • Soil quality deterioration

  • Plant nutrients/N

  • Managing major stress factors, weed, disease and pest challenges

  • Environment and sustainability


Learning outcome

The objective of the course is to enable students to understand and analyse modern crop production, its main limiting factors and the methods used to develop crop production at the crop and cropping system levels. Students should be able to analyse complex, real-life problems within crop production.


- Describe and reflect on model-based interventions in management of plant production.

- Identify key factors limiting yields, and the available strategies to overcome them with respect to productivity, profitability and environmental impact analysing modern crop production systems,

- Obtain tools to analyse farmers’ and other stakeholders’ decision making and the common gap between theory and practice.

Overview of components of farming and cropping systems and their interactions


- Suggest  strategies for reducing the “yield gap” in practical farming after analysis.


- Critical reflect on the environmental impacts of crop production and their mitigation.

 - Ability to apply the knowledge of farming and cropping systems and their interactions in ananalysis of real life system limitations

- Evaluate cropping systems by using the acquired overview of the complexity of biological, chemical and physical factors affecting crop production


Recommended prerequisites

Students are strongly recommended to have least two of the below mentioned prerequisite courses (or similar knowledge), in order to follow the course and achieve course competence goals.
Plant Infection and Disease Management
Insects in Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
Afgrødelære (Crop Science)
Weed Biology and Management
Plant Nutrition and Soil Science

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MSc Programme in Agriculture


Study Board of Natural Resources and Environment

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


Kristian Thorup-Kristensen
Jesper Rasmussen
Vibeke Langer
Hans Jørgen Lyngs Jørgensen
Lars Stoumann Jensen
Fulai Liu
Peter Esbjerg


1 block


---- SKEMA LINK ----

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, individual report writing and group work on case farms






Literature will be made available on course website at least 2 weeks prior to course start. The teaching will be based on textbook material (mainly: Crop yields and global food security, Fisher et al., 2014), scientific papers and data available on the case farms.


Category Hours
Lectures 35
Excursions 25
Preparation 76
Colloquia 20
Project work 50
English 206


Type of assessment

Written assignment
Oral examination
Assessment of crop improvement report (1/3)
Oral exam, 20 minutes, presentation and discussion case farm work, + draw a topic within other parts of course curriculum and discussion of this (2/3)


All aids allowed

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

Please refer to learning outcome.

Censorship form

No external censorship
One internal examiner.


As the ordinary exam.

The case farm deliverable must be handed in two weeks before the reexamination.

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