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Overview

This course provides practical training in farming and related technologies.  A focus on broadacre cropping provides graduates with an opportunity to enter into careers in crop production or supporting rural or agribusiness industries.

 

Using the purpose-built cropping facilities at Emerald Agricultural College, students are engaged with the cropping enterprise throughout the cropping cycle. 

 

Crop growing phase:  

Early in the course students will undertake practical experience in operating and maintaining machinery used on the cropping enterprises.  Practical training during the crop growing period will include:

  • weed and pest control in the cropping system,
  • irrigation (centre pivot, drip and surface (gravity fed)) management, and
  • biosecurity.  

Crop monitoring, including with drones, and general agronomy in crop including cotton, chick peas, mung beans and maize will occur in practical and theoretical classes.

 

Harvest/picking:

At the conclusion of the growing period, students are involved in pracs associated with crop (cotton) defoliation, picking, destruction (mulching and tillage).  This is tied to theory relating to yield mapping, and crop marketing in a business tech environment.

Crop preparation:

Students are involved in prepping the farm for the next crop, using the principles of

  • precision agriculture,
  • minimum tillage,
  • machine telemetry,
  • gps crop mapping, and
  • irrigation planning and preparation.  

 

Supporting theoretical learning during this period includes soil biology, crop profitability (planning for broad acre crop and pasture establishment for livestock, crop varietal selection, and financial planning, and production risk management).

 

Sowing/planting:

Providing students with further access to modern machinery and equipment, students get involved in all aspects of planting the new crop.  Cultivation, precision planting, fertiliser planning and application, refuge crop establishment are all tasks that the students get involved in.  This practical component is supported by theoretical work regarding crop planting windows including soil temperatures, water planning, naturally available soil moisture, fertiliser application and uptake, and seed science. 

 

Other topics covered:

Throughout the course, students also train and learn  about topics related to workplace health and safety, and technology related to cropping management and production.

 

Instructional and production staff

Throughout this course, students will have access to respected production and teaching staff to provide a learning environment that helps students get an understanding of modern farming.

 

Blair Milburn - Blair is an Instructor, who has been with Emerald Agricultural College for ten years.  He began his lifelong journey in agriculture through graduating with a Certificate in Agriculture from Queensland Ag College, and then farmed sugar cane and small crops, and ran cattle in a family partnership for around 25 years.  Since 2007, Blair has been responsible for the production of a diverse range of crops at EAC, including cotton, sorghum, wheat, maize, chick peas, and mung beans.  Blair has undertaken further study to achieve Diplomas in Agriculture, Rural Business Management and Vocational Education, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Precision Agriculture.

 

Industry experts - guest lecturers, field day attendance, tours to industry location, and work experience all provide opportunities for the Cropping Skills students to get a broad range of experience additional to that provided by and on the college.

COURSE LOCATIONS

This course is offered at the following QATC locations:

  • Emerald Agricultural College (full time on-campus)

 

Current intakes:

Intake date/s Location
Semester 1, 2018 Emerald

 

COURSE & FEE STRUCTURE

The Cropping Skills course is run over 10 months (2 semesters) and equips students with the skills necessary to build a career in one of the largest industries in Australia.

A hands-on approach helps students learn about establishing and maintaining crops, including the operation of irrigation systems and farm machinery. Additional skills development is also undertaken during the course, including workplace health and safety and property maintenance.

Course fees:

Fee Type Amount
Fee-For-Service (FFS) fee rate $10,464
Co-contribution fee rate $5,808
Co-contribution - concessional fee rate $5,136

Training is funded by the Queensland Government under the Certificate 3 Guarantee program.  Students should consult our fees policy on the QATC Fees and Funding page for information about eligibility requirements.  The fees listed above represent the cost of training and assessment. 

CAREERS

A focus on cropping means graduates may find themselves working across a range of industries relevant to cropping. Potential roles include rural business worker, rural merchandiser and senior farmhand.

Rural business workers support businesses by performing a range of financial and administrative duties including record keeping, customer service and emergency response.

Rural merchandisers work with stores and retailers. They provide customer service, give advice regarding rural goods and services and purchase goods and services on behalf of businesses.

Senior farmhands supervise and coordinate other workers, manage farms and perform general farm duties including fencing, vehicle maintenance, harvesting, and irrigation.

CRITERIA

Compulsory requirements

Students will complete a pre-enrolment self-assessment to provide an indication of their existing skills and knowledge. Students will also undergo a Language, Literacy & Numeracy assessment, and a practical skills assessment. These will determine their level of underpinning skills and knowledge. Where gaps in their skills and knowledge are identified, a Student Support Plan is developed.

Preferred requirements

n/a

UNITS OF STUDY

Undertake preparation of land for agricultural crop production

AHCBAC305

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to prepare land for agricultural crop production. This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for own work including limited responsibility for the work of others. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources and complete routine activities. (Source: training.gov.au as at June 2017)

Establish agricultural crops

AHCBAC306

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to establish agricultural crops. This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for own work including limited responsibility for the work of others. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources and complete routine activities. (Source: training.gov.au as at June 2017)

Maintain agricultural crops

AHCBAC307

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain agricultural crops. This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for own work including limited responsibility for the work of others. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources and complete routine activities. (Source: training.gov.au as at June 2017)

Undertake agricultural crop harvesting activities

AHCBAC308

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to undertake agricultural crop harvesting activities. This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for own work including limited responsibility for the work of others. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources and complete routine activities. (Source: training.gov.au as at June 2017)

Maintain pastures and crops for livestock production

AHCBAC310

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain pastures and crops for livestock production. This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for own work including limited responsibility for the work of others. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources and complete routine activities. (Source: training.gov.au as at June 2017)

Prepare and apply chemicals

AHCCHM303

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to prepare and apply chemicals for the control of pests across a range of industry sectors.

This unit covers the use of general application equipment used across a variety of industries including; boom sprays, orchard air-blast sprayers, handheld spray equipment, wipers, dry chemical applicators, dips, pour-on, spot-on, vaccination and drenching equipment.

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures, work hand safety and pesticide legislation and codes.

All work must be carried out to comply with chemical label instructions, Safety Data Sheets (SDS’s), the organisation’s application plan and relevant legislation.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work and use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources.

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Candidates should confirm the regulatory requirements that apply in their relevant State or Territory before undertaking this unit.

This unit may be deemed to have a time limit when used as part of an accreditation or licence process.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Transport and store chemicals

AHCCHM304

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to safely transport, handle and store liquid and dry chemical formulations across a broad range of industry sectors. 

This unit does not cover operation of specialised chemical application equipment and machinery or application of chemicals. 

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures, work health and safety and pesticide legislation and codes. All work is carried out to comply with Safety Data Sheets, chemical label directions and relevant legislative requirements.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work and use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources. 

Licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements may apply to this unit. Confirm the regulatory requirements that apply in the relevant State or Territory.

This unit may be deemed to have a time limit when used as part of an accreditation or licensing process.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Operate and maintain gravity fed irrigation systems

AHCIRG334

This unit of competency covers the skills and knowledge required to install, operate and maintain surface irrigation structures and components.

It applies to individuals who take responsibility for own work and for the quality of the work of others. They use discretion and judgement in the selection, allocation and use of available resources. All work is carried out to comply with workplace procedures.

No occupational licensing, legislative or certification requirements are known to apply to this unit at the time of publication.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Perform machinery maintenance

AHCMOM302

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to maintain machinery and equipment that is used principally in agriculture, horticulture, and conservation and land management work.

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures, work health and safety requirements manufacturer’s specifications and sustainability practices.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources.

No occupational licensing, legislative or certification requirements are known to apply to this unit at the time of publication.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Operate machinery and equipment

AHCMOM304

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to operate and maintain machinery and equipment.

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures, work health and safety requirements manufacturer’s specifications and sustainability practices.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources. 

No occupational licensing, legislative or certification requirements are known to apply to this unit at the time of publication.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Operate broadacre and row crop harvest machinery and equipment

AHCMOM308

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to operate broadacre or row crop harvesting machinery and equipment. 

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures, Work Health and Safety requirements manufacturer’s specifications and sustainability practices.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work. They use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources.

No occupational licensing, legislative or certification requirements are known to apply to this unit at the time of publication.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Operate broadacre sowing machinery and equipment

AHCMOM309

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to operate broadacre sowing machinery and equipment. 

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures, work health and safety requirements manufacturer’s specifications and sustainability practices.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work and use discretion and judgement in the selection and use of available resources.

No occupational licensing, legislative or certification requirements are known to apply to this unit at the time of publication.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Control weeds

AHCPMG301

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to plan and coordinate weed control activities.

This unit applies to workers in agriculture, horticulture or land management-based enterprises who are required to carry out the control of weed infestations using cultural, biological and chemical methods to provide effective, economical control of weeds while minimising damage to the environment.

The unit applies to workers who demonstrate autonomy and judgement and take limited responsibility in known contexts.

Individuals operating in this field who use chemicals for weed control are required to hold current chemical handling certification. Other licensing conditions may also apply to this unit. Specific determination should be sought through the relevant State or Territory.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

 

Contribute to work health and safety processes

AHCWHS301

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to carry out enterprise work health and safety policies and procedures.

This unit is applicable to individuals. They typically work within clear reporting lines and procedures.

All work must be carried out to comply with workplace procedures and work health and safety and other relevant legislation and codes.

This unit applies to individuals who actively participate in the workplace safety system and work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work. They work in a range of known contexts and complete routine activities.

NOTE: The terms 'occupational health and safety' (OHS) and 'work health and safety' (WHS) and occupational safety and health (OSH) are equivalent and generally either can be used in the workplace. In jurisdictions where the Model WHS Legislation has not been implemented RTOs are advised to contextualise the unit of competency by referring to the existing State and Territory OHS legislative requirements.

No occupational licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

 

Apply environmentally sustainable work practices

AHCWRK309

This unit of competency describes the skills and knowledge required to apply environmentally sustainable work practices.

This unit applies to individuals who work under broad direction and take responsibility for their own work including limited responsibility for the work of others.

Work routines meet organisational and compliance requirements for ethical handling and welfare of animals, environmental sustainability, work health and safety, and biosecurity appropriate to the work role.

No licensing, legislative or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

(Source: training.gov.au as at August 2017)

Use business technology

BSBWOR204A

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to select, use and maintain a range of business technology. This technology includes the effective use of computer software to organise information and data.

Additional Information

Accommodation

Residential Accommodation

Emerald Agricultural College provides single study bedrooms for students.  Rooms are fully furnished, have wi-fi access, and are serviced weekly. Each residential block has a common room fitted with a television, kitchenette, and dial-in telephone. A full laundry service is provided.

Fee Type Amount Details
Full Time Residential Accommodation $370 per week (includes accommodation, meals and laundry)
Day Student $20 per day (optional purchase of morning tea and lunch)

For more information see the accommodation fees schedule

Off-campus Accommodation 

A range of rental accommodation is also available in the town of Emerald for students who may wish to live off-campus.

Work Experience Travel and Accommodation

Where work experience is conducted as part of a program, travel, accommodation, and food costs related to the placement are covered under the program cost.

Course disclaimer

All information quoted is current at the date of publication. This information is applicable for Australian citizens or permanent residents only.

Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) reserves the right not to offer a course or unit and/or to decline the enrolment of a student in a course or unit on the basis of student demand and/or resource constraints. QATC advises that course offerings, structures, prices, instructors, assessment, unit objectives, and content may be subject to change without notice as circumstances dictate and reserves its rights generally.

Prospective students should contact QATC to ensure the information they are viewing about this training is still current.

Depending on training requirements and personal circumstances, students may be eligible for financial support, course funding or fee subsidies from government initiatives. For more information, refer to individual course pricing and the QATC Fees and Funding page.

Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges (QATC) is a Registered Training Organisation. RTO 31258

Course Details - At a glance

A focus on broadacre cropping provides an opportunity for graduates to enter into careers in crop production, or in supporting rural or agribusiness industries such as agronomy.

  • On Campus
  • Full time
  • 36 weeks
  • Sem 1, 2018
  • 16 Units
  • Fees and Charges
    • Fee-For-Service (FFS) fee rate: $10,464
    • Co-contribution fee rate: $5,808
    • Co-contribution – concessional fee rate: $5,136