Unit 2: Cropping Systems & Sustainability

Tractor harvesting golden Palouse wheat


Unit 2 gives a broad overview of cropping systems and production practices in the inland Pacific Northwest (iPNW), with a focus on practices that increase sustainability and reduce or mitigate negative environmental impacts.  

Unit Placement in the Course: 

This unit is intended to follow Unit 1, but can also function as a stand-alone unit. Principles introduced here are further examined in future units on soils, water and erosion, carbon, and precision agriculture. While this unit does not contain climate science information, the information here is essential for understanding the reciprocal impacts of climate change on agriculture and agriculture on climate change as discussed in later units.

Required Supplies: 

  • Computers, ideally one per student. 

Materials Provided: 

  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Two classroom lab activities to explore iPNW crops and farms
  • Readings on agriculture production from which teachers can select based on local need and interest

Estimated Teaching Time: 

  • Three 50-minute class periods.