Oil Crops - Agronomy V

Course CodeBAG312
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to Grow Oil Crops

Where can this course be applied?

  • Small and large farms
  • Consultancy, education and arable farming services
  • Industries as diverse as Food, Energy, Permaculture, Horticulture and Manufacturing
  • Anyone with the imagination and innovative spirit to envisage the possibilities

Why grow Oil Crops?

Although there are many different uses for plant oils, most oil crops may be grown because they provide oils in one of the following groups: 

1.       Edible oils – human food, and livestock or pet animal feed

2.       Biofuels – biodiesel, vegetable oil fuel, alternative fuels

3.       Industrial oils – pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, toiletries, paints, lubricants

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature & scope of oil crops
    • What are plant oils?
    • Essential oils
    • Plant oil crops & uses
    • Vegetable oil uses
    • Essential oil uses
    • Economic value of oil crops
    • What crops can be grown where?
  2. Oil extraction
    • Introduction
    • Oil seed processing
    • Mechanical processing
    • Chemical processing
    • Other processing methods
    • Distillation
    • Simple distillation
    • Steam distillation
    • Fractional distillation
    • Vacuum distillation
    • Molecular distillation
    • Extractive distillation
    • Membrane distillation
  3. Canola and rapeseed
    • Characteristics of canola
    • World production
    • Growing canola
    • Using seed
    • Soil types
    • Soil preparation
    • Sowing
    • Growth stages
    • Environmental stresses
    • Nutrition
    • Irrigation management
    • Weeds
    • Pest control
    • Diseases
    • Harvesting
    • Storage
    • Processing
  4. Olive oil
    • Characteristics of olive oil
    • World production
    • Growing olives
    • Using seedlings
    • Soil types
    • Soil preparation
    • Planting
    • Pruning
    • Growing conditions
    • Varieties
    • Nutrition
    • Irrigation management
    • Weeds
    • Pest control
    • Diseases
    • Organic production
    • Harvesting
    • Storage
    • Processing
  5. Other edible oils
    • Growing conditions
    • Organic matter
    • Soil texture
    • Subsoil PH
    • Soil water available to plants
    • Slope of the topography
    • Natural soil drainage
    • Maintaining good soil structure
    • Growing edible oil crops
    • Sunflowers (helianthus annuus)
    • Flax/linseed (linum usitatissimum)
    • Soybean/soya bean (glycine max)
    • Peanuts (arachis hypogaea)
    • Herbal and pharmaceutical oils
    • Introduction
    • Pros and cons of herbal medicine & nutraceuticals
    • Essential oils
    • General guidelines for growing herbs for essential oils
    • Planting
    • Agronomy
    • Improved herbs and essential oils
    • Growing select crops for cosmetic or pharmaceutical oils
    • Avocado (persea americana)
    • Mint (mentha arvensis)
    • Tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia)
    • Blackcurrant (ribes nigrum)
    • Passionfruit (passiflora edulis)
  6. Biofuel and other industrial oils
    • Biofuel production
    • Vegetable oils and genetic modification
    • Extraction of oils from plants
    • GMO crops
    • Oleic acid
    • Oil palm trees
    • Novel fatty acids
    • Chemical and biotechnological transformations of basic industrial oils
    • Key targets for future industrial oil crops
    • Unusual fatty acids
    • Industrial importance
    • Growing select crops for biofuels and other industrial uses
    • Poppy (papaver somniferum)
    • Castor bean (ricinus communis)
    • Camelina (camelina sativa)
    • Crambe (crambe abyssinica)
  7. Issues, Risks, Optimising success
    • Successful farming
    • Capital
    • Profitability
    • Risk management
    • Succession
    • Entrepreneurial skills of farmers
    • Production management
    • Developing a farming business plan
    • Goals and mission
    • Asset planning
    • Land
    • Irrigation water
    • Livestock
    • Farm management
    • Labour and machinery
    • Capital
    • Soil testing
    • Produce selection
    • Integrated pest management
    • Integrated weed management
    • Grain storage
  8. Product development and management
    • Oilseed production and extraction yields
    • Oil fatty acid composition and biodiesel
    • Oil extraction and biodiesel processing
    • On-farm oil seed processing

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.