Principles of Annual Crop Production


ii. Course aim:
The course aims to provide students with the basic principles for production of annual crops and to apply agronomic principles to production of annual crops.

iii. Course expected learning outcome(s):
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Define annual crops and describe the various annual crops grown in east Africa especially Tanzania
• To describe the relationship between yield and yield components of annual to the environmental factors
• Describe and use the principles underlying production of annual crops before and after harvest
iv. Course status: Core
v. Credit rating: 10 Credits
vi. Total hours spent: 100 hours
Lectures 24hrs
Tutorial 18hrs
Assignments 06hrs
Independent Study 04hrs
Practical 48hrs
vii. Course content:
Introduction: Outline of the agronomic principles, Definition and types of annual crops, Constraints facing annual crops production
Distribution of annual crops in East Africa: History, distribution and economic importance of annual crops in east Africa with emphasis to Tanzania
Growth and development of selected annual crops interaction with environment: Optimum physiological requirement for high yield, Yield and yield components of selected annual crops. Relationship of agronomic principles to different annual crop growth, developmental stages and yield as affected by different physical environmental (temperature, light, water, soil requirements), biological, socio-economic and political decision making. Application of agronomic principles: Tillage practices (Tillage and tilth (objectives, characteristics of ideal seed bed), Effects of soil properties (pore space, texture, structure, bulk density and color of the soil), Types of tillage their advantages and disadvantages, Tillage implements and factors governing their choice, Factors affecting tillage, Timing, depth and amount of tillage. Crop establishment (Choice of seed/variety (principles of seed production and characteristics of good seed), Determination of optimal seeding time, seed rate and seeding depth, Planting geometry, competition, effect of plant population on growth and yield, Effects of plant density and planting pattern on growth and yield. Cropping systems (Crop rotations, continuous cropping, intercropping systems fallowing and shifting cultivation, Advantages cropping systems on yield and crop protection, Principles and practices in arid and semi-arid crop production. soil fertility and moisture: Fertilizers and fertilizer formulations, Manures, fertilizers (determination of application dose, rates and frequency) and their use in annual crops. Interaction of manures and fertilizers with other agronomic practices, Concepts in crop irrigation and fertigation for optimized yield (determination of optimal types and rate or frequency). Crop protection: Common pests (weeds, diseases and insects) of annual crops, Control measures (integrated pest management options). Harvesting and post-harvest handling: Determination of ideal harvesting time, harvesting processing and storage, Grading and marketing of major annual crops. Crop spoilage and methods of quality improvement. Harvesting and postharvest technology for major agricultural crops – rice, maize, groundnut and pulses. Production of cereal crops (Maize, Rice, Sorghum and millet), Industrial crops (Cotton and Tobacco), oil crops (Sunflower and Simsim), root and tubers (Cassava, Potatoes and Sweet potatoes) and grain legumes (Beans, Groundnuts and soybean).
Practical skills:
Tillage practices, seeding practices, fertilization and irrigation methods, pest management,

viii. Teaching and learning activities
The course will be delivered through lectures, practical sessions, seminars/tutorials and independent study sessions
ix. Assessment methods
The course will be assessed by quizzes, assignments, seminar presentation reports, practical reports, practical tests, theory tests and end of semester University examination.

x. Reading list:
Purseglove, J.W. 1988. Tropical crops: Monocotyledons. Longman. 607 pp.
Purseglove, J.W. 1988. Tropical crops: Dicotyledons. Longman. 719 pp
Fageria, N.K., Baligar, V.C., and Allen-Jones, C. 1997. Growth and Mineral Nutrition Of Field Crops. Marcell Dekker. Inc. New York.625p.
Kanyeka, E., Kamala, R. And Kasuga, R. 2007. Improved Agricultural Technologies Recommended in Tanzania. First Edition. Department Of Research and Training. Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives.144p.
Ngugi, D.N. Karau, P.K. and Nguyo, W. 1990. East African Agriculture. 3rd Edition. Macmillan.330p.