Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Discuss the significance of plants to humans and animals.
2. Describe the non-food uses of plants by humans.
3. List examples of the primary food crops: cereals, roots and tubers,
sugars, oils, fruits and vegetables.
4. Identify major crops grown in the USA, California and Sonoma County.
5. Describe the economic value of agriculture and horticulture.
6. List the levels of classification within the plant kingdom.
7. Apply the rules of botanical nomenclature to identify various crop
8. Describe the characteristics of gymnosperms and angiosperms, monocots
9. Identify and describe the components of the plant cell.
10. Describe the principle simple plant tissues.
11. Contrast the functions of xylem and phloem tissues.
12. Describe the morphology and function of roots, stems, leaves and
13. Compare the processes of photosynthesis and respiration and their role
in the carbon cycle.
14. Sow seeds and provide the conditions necessary for seed germination.
15. Apply Mendelian genetic principles to predict inherited traits in F1
hybrid crosses and F2 generations.
16. Discuss the significance of genetically modified crops in agriculture
17. Dissect, identify and describe the morphology and function of monocot
and dicot seeds, seedlings and plants.
18. Propagate plants by vegetative (asexual) methods.
19. Prune fruit trees and vines for optimum fruit production.
20. Describe production cycles for cool season and warm season crops.
21. Describe the effects of climate and weather on crops.
22. Analyze soil physical properties that influence plant growth.
23. Compare the properties of common soil amendments and fertilizers.
24. Compare conventional and sustainable methods of crop production,
including weed and pest control practices.
25. Describe the relationship of tillage systems and cover cropping to
26. Use library and internet resources to research economic, production
and marketing data for a selected crop.
I. Agriculture and Humanity
A. Significance of plants to humans and animals
B. Early agricultural activity
C. Nonfood uses of plants
II. Crop Distribution
A. General crop pattern of the USA
B. Influence of environment in determining where crops will grow
profitably in the US
C. General crop pattern of California and Sonoma County
D. Economic value of agriculture and Horticulture in California and
E. Regulatory agencies: USDA (United States Department of
Agriculture), CDFA (California Department of Food and
Agriculture), and County Agriculture Commissioner
III. Crop Morphology and Physiology
A. Structure and function of the plant cell
B. Simple and complex tissues
C. Root, stem, leaf and flower
D. Conductive tissues and translocation
E. Basic physiology of plant growth and food manufacture
F. Classification of fruits
IV. Crop production, Tillage, and Cover cropping
A. Crop rotation in weed, disease and insect control
B. Value and limitations of cover crops
C. Local crop production practices
D. Tillage systems and effects on soil quality
V. Major Weed Pests and Control Methods
A. Weed classification
B. Biological, mechanical and non-chemical control methods
C. Herbicide types and terminology
VI. Seed (sexual) Propagation
A. Morphology of monocot and dicot seeds
B. Factors affecting seed germination
C. Seed Certification and label
VII. Vegetative (asexual) Propagation
A. Characteristics of asexual propagation
B. Methods: cuttings, layering, budding, grafting
C. Micropropagation (tissue culture)
VIII. Crop Improvement and Plant Breeding
A. Concepts and terminology
B. Objectives and methods of crop improvement
C. Mendelian genetic principles
D. Impact of genetically modified crops
IX. Soil Environment of Plants
A. Physical, biological and chemical characteristics of soil
B. Improving soil conditions for plant growth
C. Soil conservation practices
X. Fertilizers and Soil Fertility
A. Factors affecting fertilizer use and selection
B. Common terms in fertilizer industry
C. Elements required by plants and their effect on plant growth
D. Fertilizer label
XI. Climate Effects on Crop Production
A. Influence of temperature, soil moisture, light intensity
B. Accumulation of heat units
C. Adaptation of crops to regions within California
D. Effects of latitude and altitude
E. Cardinal growth temperatures for representative crops
F. Frost protection
XII. Sustainable and Organic Crop Production
A. Comparisons with conventional production
B. Certification regulations
C. Consumer trends
Plant Science: Growth, Development, and Utilization of Cultivated Plants,
3rd edition. McMahon, Kofranek, Rubatzky. Prentice Hall, 2002.