Primary Productions

Year of erogation: 
Unit Coordinator: 
Second semester
Year of study: 
Language of instruction: 



Learning outcomes of the course unit

Plant Production program:
To provide the student with elementary knowledge relating to the process of plant production, with special reference to the processes of growth and development, maturation, harvest and storage of plant food productions for processing. Knowledge on the effects of agricultural practices on crop production (yield and quality) is also provided.
Animal Production program:
The student will be able to:
Acquire good knowledge on Functional Anatomy of domestic animals oriented to production aspects in the agro-alimentary sector.
Know the fundamentals of breeding and management techniques of animals destined to the production of the main food products of animal origin, with special emphasis on the particular aspects of PDO and PGI products
Know the main characteristics of the following products: meat, milk, eggs
Acquire the tools necessary to evaluate the principal factors affecting the quality of products of animal origin


Basic notions of biology

Course contents summary

Plant Production program:
INTRODUCTION TO PLANT PRODUCTION: Factors of production. Origins of agriculture and of cultivated crops. Yield and quality.
GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT: Development and dry matter partitioning. Analysis and growth indexes (canopy).
SEED PROPAGATION: Seed characteristics and germination in field crops. Dormancy. Sowing and sowing machinery.
AGAMIC PROPAGATION: Apomixy. Layering and other traditional techniques. Cuttings and grafting. Nursery.
CLIMATIC VARIABLES: radiation, temperature, rainfall. Crop injury by high and low temperatures.
PLANTS AND WATER: crop needs. Soil available water. Field capacity and wilting point. Effects of drought and water flooding. Irrigation methods and their efficiency.
PLANT NUTRITION: Main mineral nutrients; excess and deficiency. Antagonisms. Interactions. FERTILISATION: The main available mineral fertilisers. Organic fertilisers. Fertirrigation. Crop needs.
WEEDS AND HERBICIDES: Agronomical and chemical weed control. Effects of herbicides on plants and their behaviour in the soil.
SOIL: physical, chemical and biological properties. Management of water flooding. Drainage.
ROOT SYSTEMS: Development of the root system of field and fruit crops. Methods of root investigations. Indexes of root growth.
SOIL TILLAGE: Preparatory and complementary tillage operations. Plough and ploughing. Other tillage tools. Alternative techniques.
AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS: Monoculture, polyculture; intercropping; crop rotation. Organic farming. Cover crops.
PLANT AND SOIL WATER: Hydrologic cycle. Goals of soil water management. Irrigated crop production.
Animal Production program:
Basic elements of anatomy: digestive system, muscle and udder.
Characteristics of meat quality: beef, pork, lamb and goat, poultry, horsemeat and wild game. Factors affecting meat quality. Carcass and cuts evaluation. Overview of techniques used in raising animals for meat production. Main Italian and foreign bovine, ovine and swine breeds raised for meat production and commercial swine and poultry hybrids. Particularities in breeding and management of animals for main Italian PDO and PGI meat products.
Milk characteristics: physical-chemical properties, variability factors of the composition of cow, buffalo, sheep and goat milk. Milk quality factors for fresh consumption and production of dairy products – Main Italian and foreign bovine, ovine and caprine breeds raised for milk production. Particularities in the management of animals for main Italian DOP and IGP cheeses.
Egg production, characteristics and quality factors
Elements of classification of fishes, shellfishes and molluscs used as human food; characteristics of fish meats.

Recommended readings

BORTOLAMI R., CALLEGARI E., CLAVENZANI P., BEGHELLI V.: Anatomia e Fisiologia degli animali Domestici, Calderini – Edagricole, Bologna, 2009.
Bittante G., Andrighetto I., Ramanzin M. Tecniche di produzione animale. Liviana Editrice, Padova
L'allevamento ovino. Associazione Nazionale della Pastorizia, Roma
Alais C. Scienza del Latte. Tecniche Nuove (terza Edizione)

Teaching methods

Plant Production:
classroom and practical lectures
Animal Production:
Classroom lectures with PowerPoint presentation.
The PowerPoint presentations, utilized for lectures, are uploaded on Elly weekly

Assessment methods and criteria

oral exam
Animal Productions program:
Written exam with multiple choice answers and oral exam with questions to assess the acquired knowledge. The ability of expression and the use of an appropriate terminology will be evaluated and considered in the attribution of the mark.
Written exam is a multiple-choice test, only one correct answer, 30 questions. The test is considered sufficient when at least 18 answers are correct. Who passes the written test is admitted to the oral test.
Normally, the oral test follows the correction of the written test immediately.
If the sanitary emergency persists, only the oral test will be performed, by means of the Teams platform.