Course overview

The Sustainable Home Grown Feeds course focuses on arable crops, which can form a key component of a pasture-based farming system. Their selection and management are often driven by very different requirements than those of intensive arable situations. The course focuses on developing management approaches to the maintenance and building of soil fertility whilst maximising livestock productivity. This approach delivers a system that is both resilient and sustainable.

You will explore rotational farming practices in the context of mixed farming systems. This includes examining different options of crops and their suitability for different situations and regions, their use in the feed ration, and crop management approaches. The environmental and economic implications of different management practices will also be evaluated in context with current UK policy.

The course is delivered entirely online through distance learning by Aberystwyth University. The Sustainable Home Grown Feeds course is also an optional module in the MSc Sustainable and Efficient Food Production, MRes Agriculture and in the MSc in Food Security in a Changing Environment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module participants should be able to:

  • Review and evaluate crop rotational practices.
  • Compare and evaluate the use of a range of forages, cereals and legumes for ruminant feed.
  • Critically appraise the potential for current research in feed and forage agronomy to allow agricultural production to adapt to the challenges of climate change.
  • Critically appraise the potential for current research in agronomy to protect and enhance soil fertility.
Additional Course Information

Areas covered in the Sustainable Home Grown Feeds course will include:

  • Overview of mixed farming systems and soil health
  • Crop rotation
  • Building soil fertility
  • Cultivation and harvest options
  • Plant health and weed control
  • Economic evaluation
  • Maize
  • Protein crops
  • Brassica crops
  • Short-term grass leys



    Key facts

    Course Dates
    14 weeks
    Entry Requirements
    Graduate level or relevant experience
    Fee info
    from £750
    IFST Membership
    Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
    CQFW Level
    Course Provider
    Aberystwyth University
    Provider Reference Number
    Course Arrangements
    Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
    Course Location
    Aberystwyth University, Online
    AFTP Cohort
    Course Logistics
    Our distance learning modules are designed to be flexible and most of our participants work full time at the same time as studying for 10 to 15 per week, for each 20 credit module. Blocks of modules are delivered with start dates in January, May and September, with most modules offered once each year.

    Sarah Watson Jones


    My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
    Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

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