Resources by Topic 

Learning Materials

  • Feeding the World

    We are fortunate to live in a society with abundant food. Most of us take for granted that we will always have enough to eat...

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    Teacher Background

    Introduction

    EXCERPT: We are fortunate to live in a society with abundant food. Most of us take for granted that we will always have enough to eat...


    Lesson

    Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century

    EXCERPT: Students discuss what challenges must be met in order to feed the world’s population in 2050. Students then analyze a list of 10 recommendations about farming...

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    Videos

    Introduction to "Feeding the World"

    Our introduction touches on population growth, the demand for food, the limits of the Green Revolution, climate change, land use, water, and the growing role GMOs & other technologies.

    All Videos (playlist)

    Play them here, or view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    Related Links

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    FAO's mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world economy.

    Fertilizers and agriculture: meeting the challenges sustainably
    Online slide presentation (Slideshare)

  • Understanding Nutrients

    All organisms must take in matter from their environment in order to survive. There are 92 naturally occurring elements on Earth. Only a minority of them is needed by....

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    Teacher Background

    Plants and Their Essential Elements

    EXCERPT: All organisms must take in matter from their environment in order to survive. There are 92 naturally occurring elements on Earth. Only a minority of them is needed by living things....

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    Lesson

    In Search of Essential Nutrients

    EXCERPT: Students explore the meaning of essential nutrients. They use periodic tables to compare the elements that are essential to people and plants. Students make predictions as to where in the environment plants obtain each of their essential elements. After a short reading about nitrogen fixation, they are given an opportunity to modify....

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    Videos

    Featured Guest Video

    All Videos (playlist)

    Play them here, or view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    Related Links

    International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI)
    A not-for-profit, science-based organization dedicated to the responsible management of plant nutrition for the benefit of the human family.

    Check out: 

    Dynamic Periodic Table
    A great interactive resource
    Dayah, Michael. Dynamic Periodic Table. 1 October 1997. 27 December 2011
    <http://www.ptable.com>

    Crop Nutrients Council
    The Crop Nutrients Council’s mission is to promote science-based best management practices for crop nutrients that enhance both the economic and environmental sustainability of agriculture.

    Phosphorus for Life
    White paper produced by the Crop Nutrients Council

  • Understanding Soils

    Soils are slowly produced by the weathering of rock....

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    Teacher Background

    Properties of Soils

    EXCERPT: Soils are slowly produced by the weathering of rock....

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    Lesson

    Properties of Soils

    EXCERPT: Students examine different types of soil that have been mixed with water and allowed to settle. Next they investigate soil charge and how air space allows soils to hold and transmit water..

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    Videos

    Introduction to "Understanding Soils"

    This introduction shows the different levels or "horizons" of a soil profile. We see how the soil texture triangle can describe the structure of soil, in combination with humus and the abundant organisms it contains.

    All Videos (playlist)

    Play them here, or view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    Related Links

    Soils of Canada
    Hosted by the University of Saskatchewan, created by soil scientists from across Canada.

    National Soil Database
    The national archive for land resources information that was collected by federal and provincial field surveys, or created by land data analysis projects.Includes dynamic maps and other tools.

    Soil Conservation Council of Canada
    Works with governments, private industry, individuals, non-government organizations and other provincial groups to ensure that soil degradation – a problem which is costing Canadians $2 billion per year – is addressed and ultimately solved

    Smithsonian Institute "Dig It" Exhibition
    Discover the amazing world of soils with images and information from the Dig It! The Secrets of Soil exhibit from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.

    International Fund for Agricultural Development
    IFAD is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to eradicating rural poverty in developing countries. IFAD focuses on country-specific solutions, which can involve increasing rural poor peoples' access to financial services, markets, technology, land and other natural resources.

  • Plant / Soil Interactions

    Although plants don't have a circulatory system like humans, they still must transport material from one part of the organism to another....

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    Teacher Background

    Plant-Soil Interactions

    EXCERPT: Although plants don’t have a circulatory system like humans, they still must transport material from one part of the organism to another....

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    Lesson

    Plant-Soil Interactions

    EXCERPT: Students begin the lesson by agreeing or disagreeing with several statements about plant roots. They use a hand lens to examine roots of young seedlings and are given a chance to revise their responses...

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    Videos

    Introduction to Plant / Soil Interactions

    This introduction describes the resources that a plant needs, how it gets those resources from the environment, and how it moves them to where they're needed, using its vascular system.

    All Videos (playlist)

    Play them here, or view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    Related Links

    Multimedia Textbook Enhancements from McGraw Hill Glencoe:

    Inquiry-based Activities for the 12 Principles of Plant Biology (Middle School)
    American Society of Plant Biologists

    Plant's Vascular System
    Published on the webquest maker zunal.com by a student teacher

  • Nutrient Needs for Healthy Plants

    Plants grown in soil depleted of nutrients can display a wide variety of symptoms and greatly limit the quantity and quality of harvested crops. Commercial fertilizer...

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    Teacher Background

    Nutrient Deficiencies of Plants

    EXCERPT: Plants grown in soil depleted of nutrients can display a wide variety of symptoms and greatly limit the quantity and quality of harvested crops. Commercial fertilizer and recycled biosolids such as manure are essentially plant food...

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    Lesson

    Plant Nutrient Deficiencies

    EXCERPT: Students discuss the definition of “fertilizer” and relate it to plant nutrition and the need to restore nutrient balance in agricultural soils. They discuss how people and plants can suffer from nutrient deficiencies...

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    Videos

    Featured Guest Video

    All Videos (playlist)

    Play them here, or view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    Related Links

    Game: Humanity against hunger
    On the Nutrients for Life website

    Fertilizer101.org
    Supported by The Fertilizer Institute

    Comparing Fertilizer Materials
    Cooperative Extension Service, The Pennsylvania State University

    Online Presentation: Plant Deficiency (Slideshare)
    Slides show the effects of mineral deficiencies.

  • Plant Nutrients and the Environment

    Nutrient pollution comes from many sources: from natural ecosystem functions, from a wide spectrum of human activity and from agriculture...

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    Teacher Background

    Plant Nutrients and the Environment

    EXCERPT: Nutrient pollution comes from many sources: from natural ecosystem functions, from a wide spectrum of human activity and from agriculture...

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    Lesson

    Plant Nutrients and the Environment

    EXCERPT: An apple is used to model Earth. Students learn that just 1/32 of its surface or 1/8 of the land surface, is devoted to farmland. Students use estimates of population growth and land use to calculate how much additional farmland will be needed in the future....

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    Videos

    Featured Guest Video

    All Videos (playlist)

    Play them here, or view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    Related Links

    Best Management Practices - Product Catalogue (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs)
    An award-winning series of innovative publications presenting affordable options for protecting soil and water resources on the farm.

    Agri-Environment - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Descriptions of sustainable agricultural systems and beneficial management practices from the Government of Canada.

  • Emerging Trends / Research

    Some farmers are using technology in a variety of ways to increase crop yields. The utilization of these new technologies is growing....

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    Teacher Background

    Technology and Nutrient Management

    EXCERPT: Some farmers are using technology in a variety of ways to increase crop yields. The utilization of these new technologies is growing....

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    Lesson

    Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century

    EXCERPT: Students discuss what challenges must be met in order to feed the world’s population in 2050. Students then analyze a list of 10 recommendations about farming...

    Download the lesson, including handouts:

    Videos

    Introduction: Biotechnology

    This introduction describes how advances in molecular biology and genomic technologies have enabled the development of genetically modified plants with improved yield and disease resistance.

    Introduction: New Technology

    This introduction describes how technologies such as Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Variable Rate Technology and Remote Sensing can reduce variablity, conserve resources and increase yields.

    All Videos (playlist)

    Play them here, or view the playlist on our YouTube channel.

    Related Links

    The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada
    The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) conducts organic farming research and provides knowledge transfer and extension services for organic farmers.

    International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology
    ISAAA is a not-for-profit international organization that shares the benefits of crop biotechnology to various stakeholders, particularly resource-poor farmers in developing countries, through knowledge sharing initiatives and the transfer and delivery of proprietary biotechnology applications.

    Precision Farming and Variable Rate Technology - A Resource Guide (PDF)
    Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta 2010

    Crop Explorer
    Global resource from the US Department of Agriculture. View maps of weather, soil moisture, vegetation index, growing season and more.