Agriculture and Environment

Objectives and competences

The objective of the course is to give student an overview of environmental issues connected with agriculture, their sources, characteristics and consequences. Relations and interconnectedness between agriculture and the environment are presented. Students are made acquainted with examples from Slovenia and the world. The central part of the course is aimed at understanding the agricultural landscape and its most important elements: land use, intensive production, matter cycling and energy flow. Agricultural production is presented from the viewpoint of environment protection and students familiarise with specific environmental problems: soil erosion, land degradation pesticide residues in agriculture and loading with nitrates and phosphates. This is followed by a series of lectures in which students learn about management strategies and ways of reducing the environmental impact of agriculture through various established farming practices.


Not required.
The course complements the courses of Botanics, Chemistry, Soil chemistry and biology and viticulture courses.


Basics of ecology, ecosystems and their functioning (nutrient cycling and energy flow)

Consequences of the agriculture burden on environmental and the impact of global phenomena on agriculture (global phenomena: tropospheric ozone, greenhouse effect and climate change)

Agricultural wastes

Impacts of agriculture on environment:
- Agri-environmental indicators
- Current state in Slovenia

Life-Cycle Assessment in Agricultural Systems (4 hours – guest lecturer)

Managing strategies

Ways of decreasing harmful impacts of agriculture on the environment:
- Good agricultural practice
- Integrated farming
- Organic farming

Exercises are in the form of field viewings of specific environmental impacts of agriculture, such as changes in water bodies, impacts of pesticides, changed landscape etc., as well as examples of good environmental practices in agriculture.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding:
Students learn to differentiate between different forms of pollution caused by agricultural activities. After the course, they can assess the environmental impacts of agriculture in general or of a specific farm and describe suitable solutions.



  • Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment / ed.: Muhammad Farooq, Nirmali Gogoi, Michele Pisante. 1st Edition - April 14, 2023, Elsevier, 9780323905008 Catalogue


  • Kupchella, C. E.; Hyland, M. C. 1993. Environmental Science – Living with the system of nature (3rd edition), ISBN-0-13-282740-9, Prentice Hall, N. Jersey. Katalog
  • Novotny V, 1999: Diffuse pollution from agriculture – a worldwide outlook. Water Sci Tech 39(3):1–13.
  • High nature value farmland: characteristics, trends and policy challenges. 2004. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities. ISBN 92-9167-664-0. Katalog
  • Miteam učilnica, Moodle učilnica, prosojnice predavateljev.


Oral examination

Lecturer's references

Full professor of chemistry on University of Nova Gorica