SRJC Course Outlines

5/25/2024 12:56:56 PMSUSAG 103 Course Outline as of Fall 2004

Changed Course

Discipline and Nbr:  SUSAG 103Title:  AGRICULTURAL COMPOSTING  
Full Title:  Composting for Commercial Organic Farming and Gardening
Last Reviewed:2/8/2021

UnitsCourse Hours per Week Nbr of WeeksCourse Hours Total
Maximum1.00Lecture Scheduled3.006 max.Lecture Scheduled18.00
Minimum1.00Lab Scheduled04 min.Lab Scheduled0
 Contact DHR0 Contact DHR0
 Contact Total3.00 Contact Total18.00
 Non-contact DHR0 Non-contact DHR Total0

 Total Out of Class Hours:  36.00Total Student Learning Hours: 54.00 

Title 5 Category:  AA Degree Applicable
Grading:  Grade or P/NP
Repeatability:  00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP
Also Listed As: 
Formerly:  AG 125

Catalog Description:
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Composting is the cornerstone of soil fertility management in all segments of organic agriculture production.  Successful composting requires at least a minimum of technical knowledge of soil structures and organic matter decomposition processes.  Topics will include these basics and a survey of a variety of composting methods.  Focus will be on composting for small commercial fruit, vine and vegetable operations, but the information will be of almost equal importance for dairy farmers or hay producers, as well as for residential and commercial settings.  This is an introductory course aimed at the professional or serious student of agriculture.


Recommended Preparation:

Limits on Enrollment:

Schedule of Classes Information
Description: Untitled document
Introductory composting course covering soil structure, decomposition processes, and composting methods.  Geared toward small commercial fruit, vine, and vegetable operations; relevant for dairy farmers, hay producers, residential and commercial settings, and the serious agriculture student.
(Grade or P/NP)

Limits on Enrollment:
Transfer Credit:
Repeatability:00 - Two Repeats if Grade was D, F, NC, or NP


Associate Degree:Effective:Inactive:
CSU GE:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
IGETC:Transfer Area Effective:Inactive:
CSU Transfer:Effective:Inactive:
UC Transfer:Effective:Inactive:

Certificate/Major Applicable: Not Certificate/Major Applicable


Outcomes and Objectives:
At the conclusion of this course, the student should be able to:
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Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
1.  Define the basic process of composting and identify key
   reasons/benefits for composting.
2.  Evaluate the function of basic composting components (carbon,
   nitrogen, water and oxygen) as "essential ingredients" in the
   composting process.
3.  Analyze a variety of composting methods, their purposes, strengths,
   weaknesses, and appropriate applications in residential, commercial,
   and agricultural settings.
4.  Identify key factors affecting the composting process.
5.  Evaluate a demonstration of proper composting techniques appropriate
   to Sonoma County.
6.  Recommend specific compost uses for a variety of settings.
7.  Analyze the qualitative characteristics of finished compost.
8.  Evaluate proper technical skills required for composting settings and
9.  Evaluate issues in compost management and recommend solutions.

Topics and Scope
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1.  Composting process
   a. Identification
   b. Analysis
   c. Benefits for large and small-scale systems and operations
2.  Basic composting requirements
3.  Composting methods
   a. Residential settings
   b. Commercial settings
   c. Agricultural settings
4.  Key factors that influence the composting process
   a. Carbon to nitrogen ratio
   b. Surface area
   c. Aeration
   d. Moisture
   e. Temperature
   f. Microorganisms
5.  Technical skills required for composting
6.  Utilization and application of finished compost
7.  Management and troubleshooting of compost piles

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1.  Read in textbook about the variety of composting methods and materials
   and turn in a summary of the reading.
2.  Write a research paper on one type of composting method.
3.  Objective examinations: multiple choice, true/false, matching, essay.

Methods of Evaluation/Basis of Grade.
Writing: Assessment tools that demonstrate writing skill and/or require students to select, organize and explain ideas in writing.Writing
10 - 35%
Written homework, Independent research
Problem solving: Assessment tools, other than exams, that demonstrate competence in computational or non-computational problem solving skills.Problem Solving
0 - 0%
Skill Demonstrations: All skill-based and physical demonstrations used for assessment purposes including skill performance exams.Skill Demonstrations
15 - 40%
Class performances, Performance exams
Exams: All forms of formal testing, other than skill performance exams.Exams
15 - 40%
Multiple choice, True/false, Matching items, Quizzes, exams and essay exams
Other: Includes any assessment tools that do not logically fit into the above categories.Other Category
0 - 0%

Representative Textbooks and Materials:
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THE RODALE BOOK OF COMPOSTING, By Martin & Gershuny, Rodale Press, 1992.
California Agriculture and Natural Resources, 2001.

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