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New Course Fall Semester 2013

Inputs and Outcomes of Modern Food Production Systems

World population = 9 billion in 2045

Are you interested to know:
How farmers will grow enough food? What are the environmental risks to grow sufficient food? What food systems can produce the food sustainably?

Register for: PLSC 3995 Special Topics, section 00x, 3 credits

Time to be determined; For more information contact: Karl Guillard (karl.guillard@uconn.edu); 860.486.6309

New Class in Fall 2013 Inputs and Outcomes of Modern Food Production Systems
Course Synopsis: Remarkable gains in crop yields and livestock production have been realized in the past 50 years due to technological advances and adoption of modern farming practices of mechanization, pesticides, fertilizers, irrigation, and genetically modified crops. However, new advances and developments and in these practices must be forthcoming to keep pace with feeding a world population expected to increase from a current population of 7 billion people to 9 billion people by 2045. Feeding 9 billion people is technological possible, but what are the environmental risks we face by doing so? What can we do to make our food production systems more sustainable, and will these changes be sufficient to feed the rapidly growing population and sustain the environment? This course will provide an overview of practices used to produce our food and a forum for engaged discussion about these practices, and a discussion about challenges and opportunities to maintain farm productivity and sustainability.

Two New Classes in Spring 2014

Travel Course: Food Production Systems in Corn Belt Spring 2014 3 credits
Course Synopsis: The objective of the course is to understand the complex issues surrounding the economic, agronomic and environmental performance of food production systems primarily in the Corn Belt of the US. Using past and current literature we will explore how food, primarily grain crops and livestock, is produced in the US. The course will have two parts. The first part will consist of a weekly, onehour seminar class during the spring semester, and the second part will consist of a 21-day tour of agricultural production facilities in mid-May from Pennsylvania to Wyoming. The tour will visit conventional and organic farmers of agronomic, vegetable, fruit, and livestock production systems in the Northeastern US, the Corn Belt and the High Plains. Structured discussions with the farmers about how crops and livestock are produced at the farms will occur at stops on the tour. Visits to agricultural research stations and agricultural infrastructure sites such as retail fertilizer dealerships, granaries, and post production facilities such as juice factories or flour mills will be included, as well as discussions with agricultural and environmental scientists involved in research and education about agricultural production.

Ecology of Agricultural Systems Spring 2014 3 credits

Course Synopsis: This course focuses on agricultural principles and practices that, over the long term, enhance environmental quality, make efficient use of nonrenewable resources, integrate natural biological cycles and controls, and are economically viable and socially responsible. We will examine ecology concepts in the context of agricultural systems, identifying current issues and challenges facing modern agriculture. We will explore agricultural systems and try to understand their underlying shaping factors and their environmental and social effects. The question driving this course is how we can make agriculture more self-reliant. We will review the literature and discuss the central processes that characterize agroecosystems, apply these concepts to solve problems in agroecosystems, and consider the implications of these principles for best practice in agriculture. Discussion topics include: global food security; management of soil quality; pest resistance to management; biotechnology in agriculture; agriculture, food and health; agriculture and water quality; and local food systems