AGS402 Weed and Pesticide Sciences (8)

This subject gives students the opportunity to gain an understanding of the biology, ecology and management of weeds in a range of environments. This subject is informed by contemporary research and will deal with herbicide modes of action and their application as part of an integrated management of weeds in broadacre and horticultural farming systems of southern Australia.
This subject is presented in a way that will encourage students to develop skills in weed scouting, interpretation of experiments, and use of decision support systems, develop communication skills and be able to relate to on-farm management issues.
Distance Education students are required to attend a compulsory residential school as a requirement for this subject.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

Students enrolling in this subject are assumed to have an understanding of the basic physiology and ecology of plant production systems which are completed in PSC202 or via equivalent knowledge gained from a similar subject.

Incompatible Subjects

AGS301, PSC410, PSC441

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe and evaluate the problems caused by weeds
  • be able to identify and describe weeds at the seedling stage
  • be able to discuss and analyse the principles of weed ecology and population dynamics
  • be able to demonstrate how to apply and evaluate principles of integrated weed management in the management of crops particularly with respect to herbicide resistance.
  • be able to discuss and evaluate the weed control options for a range of land management systems
  • be able to discuss the role of herbicides in integrated weed management programs
  • be able to describe the modes of action and use patterns of herbicides
  • be able to explain and implement the principles and technology of herbicide application used in broadacre farming and horticulture


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Importance of weeds and their management
  • Weed ecology, population dynamics, invasion and succession
  • Characteristics of weeds and weed interference
  • Biology of weeds and their identification
  • Weed management strategies and tactics in broadacre crops and natural ecosystems
  • Characteristics, modes of action and use patterns of herbicides, and the development of herbicide resistance
  • Principles, technology and methods of herbicide application used in broadacre farming and horticulture

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of AGS402 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Practical exam
Weed seed bank report
Herbicide resistance report
Final exam

Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

The purpose of the Residential School is to provide an opportunity to revise the main theoretical weed and pesticide science concepts taught in this subject and to provide a framework for an authentic and rich experience to relate those theoretical concepts to hands-on skill development.
During the Residential School students will have an opportunity to develop skills on weed scouting, weed seedling identification, use of decision support systems and weed seed bank and experimental assessments.  Students will also develop skills on spray technology and application techniques as it relates to farming systems of southern Australia.

Special Resources

Students are required to attend the compulsory residential school which will involve travel expenses and a time commitment.

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.