PSC221 Fundamentals of Plant Protection (8)

Yield loss due to agricultural pests (from weed, pathogen, invertebrate and vertebrate species) is one of the largest costs to Agriculture globally. Pest management is also the major source of commercial revenue within the Industry. In this subject, students familiarise themselves with the types of pests affecting plant production systems in Australia and globally. Students will learn about the biology and ecology of common pests and use strategies for assessing their impact on plant production in broadacre, horticultural and irrigated contexts. Social, regulatory, integrated management approaches to their control will also be considered including the development of a basic understanding of agri-chemical groups and application techniques.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PSC221. 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

Plant biology

Subject Relationships

PSC371 PSC221 will draw fundamental concepts from this subject
PSC201 PSC221 will draw fundamental concepts from this subject
AGS301 PSC221 will draw fundamental concepts from this subject

Incompatible Subjects

AGS301, PSC201, PSC371

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to identify key pests affecting plant production including weeds, invertebrate, vertebrate and disease causing agents within a farm system;
  • be able to describe the biology and ecology of these key pests;
  • be able to assess pest impact on production; and
  • be able to identify chemical and non-chemical approaches to the management of pests; and how these may be effectively integrated.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • What is a pest?
  • Weeds, their biology, ecology and management
  • Invertebrates, their biology, ecology and management
  • Vertebrates, their biology, ecology and management
  • Plant disease-causing agents, their biology, ecology and management
  • Estimating pest impact
  • Pest management in horticulture production systems
  • Pest management in pastures
  • Pest management in annual broadacre crops
  • Integrated pest management approaches

Workplace Learning

This subject contains a 5 days Compulsory Workplace Learning component.

Students spend a week on a plant-based production system (e.g. a cropping or horticultural enterprise) gathering information and samples relating to pests affecting the production system and how they are managed.


Residential School

This subject contains a 4 day Compulsory Residential School.

The residential school is compulsory for students as it strengthens the identification skills of different pests and relates them to the field conditions. The use of application equipment for pesticides is also an important aspect of this subject and it is required to do this hands on.

Special Resources

Travel and accommodation may be required by students to attend the workplace learning component of the subject if it is not located locally and the residential school on CSU campus.

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.