Soil Management (Agricultural) Online Course

Soil Management Agriculture Online Course

Duration 100 hrs (12 months)
Exam Optional
Tutor Support Yes unlimited by email
Qualification Certificate

Soils are at the basis of all agriculture, particularly in Australia where soils are generally poor.  Improving your soil quality is essential for better crop and pasture production. This course will help understand the processes required to improve soil condition and fertility. Highly recommended for anyone working with pasture and crops.    In this course you will learn to investigate soil and its characteristics in relation to plant growth, to manage and manipulate soil without causing damage, to understand methods on how to improve soil and modify it to grow specific crops and more.   Get started by enrolling today, choose from our payment plans or upfront payment.  Printed notes and correspondence options available.


Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units.  Each of these has self assessment questions, a set task (practical homework) and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 8 Lessons in this course:

Introduction: Soils And Soil Classification

  • Soil health and Agricultural soils
  • What is soil health?
  • Soil Composition and Formation
  • Classifying Soil Groups and Soil Landscapes
  • Soil Profiles
  • Soil Horizons
  • Key Properties of Selected Soil Groups
  • Parent Materials
  • Classifying Soils According to Hydrological Properties
  • Soil hydrology Groups: Uniform Coarse-textured Soils, Permeability Contrast Soils; Cracking Clays; Medium to Fine Textured soil

Properties of Soils and Plant Nutrition

  • Understanding Soils
  • Mineral and Rock
  • How Soils Develop Naturally
  • Mechanical Weathering
  • Chemical Weathering
  • Geo-chemical Weathering Processes
  • Pedo-chemical Weathering
  • Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
  • Organic Carbon
  • Soil Colour
  • Texture and its Effect on Plant Growth
  • Structure and its Effect on Plant Growth
  • Consistence and its Effect on Plant Growth
  • Depth of Profile and how it Relates to Plant Growth
  • PH and Plant Growth
  • Porosity and Plant Growth
  • Plant Nutrition and Nutrient Toxicity

Soil Testing Methods

  • Tilth and Organic Matter
  • Soil Sampling for Chemical Analysis
  • General Principles of Soil Analysis
  • Tools for Field Sampling and Soil Investigation
  • Digging a Sample Pit or Hole
  • Finding Out about your Soil
  • Settlement Activity
  • Soil Structure Activity
  • Recording Soil Colour
  • Testing Consistence
  • Describing Texture
  • Test for Free Carbonates
  • Soil pH Testing
  • Stability of Clods to Wetting (Slaking and Dispersion)
  • Bulk Density Testing
  • Measurement of Organic Matter Content of Soil
  • Measuring Salinity
  • Measuring Water Content
  • Fertiliser Solubility
  • Affect of Lime on Soil
  • Laboratory Testing of Soils

Land Degradation and Other Soil Problems

  • Soil Structure Decline
  • Water Repellence
  • Erosion
  • Hard-Layers in Soils
  • Transient Bonding; Compaction; Cementation; and Natural Rigidity
  • Sub-Soil Compaction: Compression, shearing and smearing
  • Soil Acidification
  • Alkalinity and Sodicity
  • Water-logging
  • Salinity
  • Chemical Residues

Soil Management on Farms

  • Conservation Farming
  • No-Tillage (Zero tillage)
  • Minimum Tillage
  • Trap Cropping
  • Cover Crops and Green Manure Cropping
  • Alley Farming (AF)
  • Contour Farming and Strip Farming
  • Controlled Traffic Farming
  • Stubble Management
  • Establishing Water and Nutrient Management Plans
  • Soil Conservation Earthworks
  • Integrated Pest Management
  • Direct Drilling in Pasture Establishment
  • Soil Management in Orchards
  • Soil Management in Market Gardens

Crops: Soil and Nutrient Requirements (Part A)

  • Wheat
  • Oat
  • Barley

Crops: Soil and Nutrient Requirements (Part B)

  • Narrow-Leafed Lupins
  • Canola
  • Faba Beans
  • Grapes

Project Based Learning: Soil Investigation and Report

  • evaluate a range of soils for a given situation
  • determine soil problems or limitations that exist for a given land use
  • decide on suitable soil management strategies for the selected land
  • prepare and present a report

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.

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    Course Tutor

    Agriculture spans a wide variety of specializations.  Who your tutor is will depend on which area of agriculture you are studying.  Upon enrollment you will be assigned your own personal tutor who is there to support you throughout your studies.

    How It Works

    1. Learn Online

    Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

    2. Get Help & Support

    Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

    3. Receive Certificate

    Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can I pay in installments?

    Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

    Can I study from anywhere in the world?

    We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

    Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

    Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


    Do I have to sit an Exam?

    No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

    Do you have set start dates?

    There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.