Short Title:Plant Treatment Regulation
Full Title:Plant Treatment Regulation
Module Code:HTSC H4019
ECTS credits: 5
NFQ Level:8
Module Delivered in 2 programme(s)
Module Contributor:Michael Hagan
Module Description:This module provides the knowledge and skills required by an honours degree graduate to know and understand the legislation and current best practices underlying the use of a broad range of chemicals and other agents in the treatment of horticultural produce and facilities. The learner will acquire the knowledge and analytical skills to understand the basis of current practice and legislation. They will also be able to advise companies or other agencies on these issues based on this knowledge.
Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to
  1. Identify and interpret the latest relevant Irish and EU legislation in relation to the selection and use of plant protection products.
  2. Explain the fundamentals of plant disease and pest outbreaks and resistance strategies to a diverse audience, including non-specialists and non-scientists.
  3. Understand and explain the mechanisms by which pesticides work and their consequent potential for toxicity.
  4. Explain the mechanisms by which fertilisers work and the consequences of their overuse for individual organisms and for the appropriate environment.
  5. Understand the mechanisms by which growth regulators and hormones work on plants and their potential for harm.
  6. Readily identify the agents and their mechanisms underlying a given plant disease encountered in a horticultural setting, including at the cell and molecular level, and be able to anticipate how such a disease will progress and spread, and the mechanisms underlying this development.
  7. Identify the potential mechanisms that can be used to prevent or counteract outbreaks of a given disease or attacks by pests.

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
The History of Plant Treatment, fertilisers and Pesticides
The development of modern fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and other treatments and their impact on food supply, food security, population growth and dietary habits. Questions on safety and the regulation history of these treatments, the societal debate on the use of pesticides and other plant treatments.
The mechanisms of fertilisers, Pesticides and Plant Treatment
The development of modern pesticides. The mechanisms and basis of pesticide activity. Types and classifications of pesticides. The nature of fertilisers, the mechanisms by which they provide food, nutrients and other required elements. Their interaction with the soil, including various types of soils and its constituent elements. The mechanism for their absorption by plants. Possible dangers in their interaction with humans, animals and other plants. Identified dangers and suspected dangers and long term effects of their use. Issues around the use of plant growth regulators and other common treatments. The use of these treatments in agriculture and in commercial crop production. The nature of safety limits advised for fertilisers, pesticides and other treatments. Advanced methods in dispersal of these treatments. Treatments used for post-harvest logistics. The mechanisms and processes behind attempts at preservation during transportation, storage and at point-of-sale.
Plant Treatment and the Law
Pesticides and the law. Legal framework for the handling and use of fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and other chemicals in agriculture, and particularly in commercial crop production. Irish Health and safety regulation on the use of chemicals in commercial crop production, particularly food crops. Legislation in Britain, France and The Netherlands as comparators. European Union legislation. The legal status of plant treatments as potential pollutants in these legal systems.
Plant Treatment in the Horticulture Sector
Standard and non-standard plant treatment processes in a variety of settings, including food plants, nursery production, ornamental plant production and the treatment of horticultural amenities. The implementation of the use of plant treatment processes of the legal and biological/health and safety factors discussed above. The implications of these restrictions on the organisation of safe work practices in a horticultural amenity, food and other crop production facility and in horticultural concerns in general. The training required by staff members of these organisations. The economic implications of such safe practices.
Indicative Assessment Breakdown%
Course Work Assessment %30.00%
Final Exam Assessment %70.00%
Course Work Assessment %
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Essay Learners will research in detail a relevant topic and submit an essay on the topic. 3 10.00 Week 11
In-class test Two inclass short question and answer tests to evaluate the learner's engagement with the module material. 2 10.00 n/a
Practical/Skills Evaluation The learner will be evaluated on their ability to interpret the relevant legislation and apply it to a practical horticulture setting. 1 5.00 Week 6
Practical/Skills Evaluation The learners will be evaluated on their ability to select suitable products for particular plant problems, interpret the label instructions, identifying suitable application methods and calculate the appropriate quantities. 7 5.00 Week 10
Final Exam Assessment %
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Formal Exam Written examination to examine learner's grasp of the theory delivered and their wider reading on the topic. 3,4,5,6,7 70.00 End-of-Semester
Indicative Reassessment Requirement
Repeat examination
Reassessment of this module will consist of a repeat examination. It is possible that there will also be a requirement to be reassessed in a coursework element.
Reassessment Description
The repeat assessment will consist of an unseen written examination.

ITB reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Indicative Module Workload & Resources

Indicative Workload: Full Time
Frequency Indicative Average Weekly Learner Workload
Every Week 2.00
Every Week 2.00
Every Week 4.00
Recommended Book Resources
  • Rachel Carson Counsel Inc. 1992, Basic Guide To Pesticides: Their Characteristics And Hazards, CRC [ISBN: 1560322535]
  • Robert Krieger (Editor), Hayes' Handbook of Pesticide Toxicology, Third Edition [ISBN: 0123743672]
  • Leo M.L. Nollet (Editor), Hamir S. Rathore (Editor), Handbook of Pesticides [ISBN: 1420082450]
  • Bill Carlile, Pesticide selectivity, health and the environment [ISBN: 0521010810]
  • World Health Organization,, The WHO Recommended Classification of Pesticides by Hazard and Guidelines to Classification 2009 [ISBN: 9241547960]
Supplementary Book Resources
  • Robert Boardman 1986, Pesticides in world agriculture, Macmillan London [ISBN: 0333374177]
  • MAFF/PSD,, Pesticides 19™(Yr) ( Formerly ™ Approved Products for Farmers and Growers ) 2000 [ISBN: 0112430511]
This module does not have any article/paper resources
Other Resources

Module Delivered in

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
BN_SHTSC_8 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Horticulture [240 ECTS credits] 7 Elective
BN_SHTSC_B Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Horticulture [Add on 60 ECTS credits] 1 Elective