Plant Science

Importance of Taxonomy

Identify agriculturally important plants by common name. Example of Classifications: Forage Crops, Oil Crops, Grain Crops.

Plant Structures

Plant structures describe the way that the plant is organized and works together. Different systems within a plant could include the shoot, root and leaf system.

Plant Reproductive Anatomy

Lessons under this core idea would pertain to knowing about male and female parts. The functions of the different parts should be discussed, like the purpose of a flower, stamen, pistil, etc.

Plant Physiology

Plant physiology refers to the functions of specific plant parts. This can include concepts such as specific organ function, energy flow, growth, disease resistance, and nutrition.

Plant Cells

Plant cells contain many key structures that are vital to a study of plant physiology and energy conversion. 


Mitosis refers to the process of somatic cell reproduction and is responsible for plant growth.  Mitosis occurs mainly in meristematic regions in plants.

Classify Plants Based on Leaf and Structures

Compare similarities and differences of plants by individual characteristics. Incorporate the structure of a dichotomous key, explain how binomial nomenclature was developed, show basic plant anatomical differences by species

Using Dichotomous Key to Compare Plants by their Structural Differences

Demonstrate the use of a dichotomous key to identify plant species by traits and specific characteristics such as leaf, bark, bud and others. Show major categorical differences between gymnosperms and angiosperms.

Weed Management and Identification

Show or explain what makes a weed as either noxious, invasive or as an economically impactful plant. Identify how plants are able to resist chemical or other management techniques.

Signs of Nutrient Deficiencies

Describe nutrient deficiency symptoms and recognize environmental causes of nutrient deficiencies. Understand the interdependence of nutrients and their uptake.

Soil Test and Analysis

Interpret soil test results based on macronutrients (N-P-K) and other characteristics. Example: pH, cation exchange capacity, drainage, structure.

Fertilizer Labels

Understanding the information provided on a standard fertilizer label.

Fertilizer Calculations

Calculate the amount of fertilizer to be applied and calibrate equipment to apply the prescribed amount of fertilizer.

Sources of Nutrients

Identify organic and synthetic nutrients used in plant propagation.

Nutrient Application

Apply nutrients to plants for economic growth. Describe methods of nutrient application (broadcasting, side-dressing, compost, etc).

Soil profiling & Analysis

Collect and test soil/media.  Identify slope, structure, texture, horizons, and type. 

Soil Surveys

Identify functions, uses, and/or limitations of local soil series and associations.

Germination Factors

When talking about germination, discuss the parts of a seed for students to identify and describe their individual functions.

Types of Growing Media

Growing media differs based on the environment and specific uses.

Preparing Growing Media

This core idea is all about how you get your potting materials together to complete a planting.

Sexual propagation

Sexual plant propagation encompasses topics and concepts such as pollination, seed production, and planting.

Asexual propagation

Asexual propagation is a type of plant reproduction using roots, stems, or leaves of a parent plant.

Intro/basics of hydroponics

Hydroponics is the growing of plants with a nontraditional media.

Steps of IPM

The steps of IPM include setting action thresholds, monitoring and identifying pests, prevention, and control.

IPM Methodology

Methods of practicing IPM include using biological controls, cultural controls, mechanical and physical controls, and chemical controls.

Planning Greenhouse Sales and Land Lab

When you have a greenhouse on campus, there are endless amounts of fundraisers that can help students to apply the knowledge they have learned in class.

Storage Methods for Different Crops

The resources you have available to store the produce will dictate what you can plant and when.

Greenhouse/Garden Crop Harvest

Planning is key when going to harvest produce.

Types of Watering Systems

There are many types of watering systems that are used in agriculture.

Aquaponics and Hydroponics

Aquaponics and hydroponics involve the production of plants using water intensive systems.

Controlling Fungus/Diseases

There is a good chance that diseases or pests will show up in the greenhouse.

Storing Soil Mixtures

When you develop your soil mixtures/media, it is best to find a way to store the material so it doesn’t go to waste.

Transplanting Soil to Soil

It is important to think about the types of media that you are using when transplanting.

Nutrient Checks

It is common to have nutrients leach from the soil after seeds have been planted and start to grow.


Sterilization has to do with getting rid of microbes and fungus that could be growing within the media that you can reuse in the future.

Plant Care

A discussion of plant care in relation to plant management could include watering schedules and systems, pest control schedules and systems, fertilization and soil amendment schedules and systems, and pruning or thinning schedules.

Plant Diseases

Diseases are bound to occur in your greenhouse, but it is important to be able to properly ID and know how to treat them.


When developing a production plan for landscaping there are many aspects to consider.

Crop Treatment and Application

Identify greenhouse productions zones, establish and implement spray programs.

Specialized Chemicals

There are a variety of chemicals that can be derived from plants that advance science.

Hierarchical Classification

Hierarchical classification is a system of grouping things according to a hierarchy, or levels and orders.

Dichotomous Keys

Explain the use of botanical nomenclature (plant structure) to identify species

Photosynthesis/Cellular Respiration and Energy Conversion

Photosynthesis is the process by which energy is converted to chemical energy in plant cells.  In cellular respiration plants use the chemical energy stored during photosynthesis in basic life processes.

Nutrient Plan

Develop a nutrient plan with an emphasis on timely application for optimum plant growth.

Nutrient Management/Pollution

Develop a farm/greenhouse nutrient management plan.

Environmental Factors

Discuss the following environmental factors: light, temperature, humidity, water, and nutrition.

Basics of Composting

Compost can serve as a fertilizer for different soil media.

Scouting & Crop Management

Evaluate propagation materials for pests and disease, prepare soil for planting with the addition of amendments such as lime and fertilizer.

Record Keeping

Collect proper production records including application dates and rates, crop yields, planting and harvest dates by yield and field, emergency field response, maintenance and equipment calibration activity records.

Greenhouse/Hoop House Production and Management

Greenhouse/hoop house production and management would include things such as planting dates and schedules, temperature control methods and schedules, watering system schedules and methods, pest control schedules and methods, and harvest schedules.

Crop Production and Management

A discussion of crop production looks specifically at field, row, or orchard crops. 


Different types of agricultural crops require different washing methods.


The type of crop being produced affects the packing system used.

Storage Temperatures and Humidity

The temperature and humidity that crops are stored at varies with the type of crop being produced.

Basic Operation Business Information

Collect a description of the operation, short term and long term production goals, use of growing media and propagation techniques.

Nutrient Cycles

Nutrient Cycles would include the Carbon Cycle, Oxygen Cycle and the Nitrogen Cycle.

Hydroponics/Aquaponics (10.3.3)

Hydroponics and aquaponics are alternative methods of plant production.


A biofuel is a fuel derived directly from living matter.

Chemical Regulations

First, identify the current chemical regulations for safe chemical handling within the workplace.

Nutrient & Waste Management

Identify common storage and management of nutrients, develop a disposal plan for waste water and organic material, establish an emergency plan for possible environmental discharge or spills, as well as an operational and maintenance plan.

Punnett Squares

Genetic tool used to predict possible offspring of two parents.


Study of how to classify living things using dichotomous keys and scientific naming.

Evaluate a Proposed Plan for Effectiveness and Economical Feasibility

Develop a least cost ration that would be consumed by an animal.

Organization of Ecosystems

Ecosystems are organized to better understand the frame of reference in which they are being studied.

Energy Pyramid

An energy pyramid, also known as a trophic or ecological pyramid, is a graphical representation of the energy found within the trophic levels of an ecosystem.


Biotic and abiotic factors are what make up ecosystems.

Habitat vs. Niche

A habitat is the place where an organism lives while a niche is that organism’s role within that environment.

Invasive Species

An invasive species is one that is not native to its current environment and causes damage to the overall ecosystem.

Environmental Considerations

Major impacts of agriculture on the environment include pollution, deforestation, soil degradation and water use.

Water Cycle

The Water Cycle is the movement of water within the atmosphere.


Ecology is defined as the study of interactions between living and nonliving components in a given area.

Ecological Balance

In order for an ecosystem to survive there must be some sort of ecological balance.

Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture is a way to grow, process and distribute food in urban areas.

History of Biotechnology

Using biotechnology in the AFNR field has improved production over the years.

Current and Potential Biotechnology Applications

Biotechnology is a rapidly growing field in agriculture.

Biotechnology in Food

Biotechnology is utilized to develop new tools for improving productivity both in and out of the food system.

Biotechnology in Agriculture

Agricultural biotechnology is a collection of techniques used to improve the agricultural industry.

Genetically Modified Organisms

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory.

GMO Regulations

GM, or genetically modified, products are regulated by three different agencies in the United States: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Organic Certification

Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods.