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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Manage soil systems 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
116371  Manage soil systems 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Primary Agriculture 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 01 - Agriculture and Nature Conservation Primary Agriculture 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 5  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L5  10 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
A learner achieving this unit standard will be able to set up and manage a soil fertility and plant nutrition plan.

Learners will gain specific knowledge and skills in soil and plant nutrition and will be able to operate in a plant production environment implementing sustainable and economically viable production principles.

They will be capacitated to gain access to the mainstream agricultural sector, in plant production, impacting directly on the sustainability of the sub-sector. The improvement in production technology will also have a direct impact on the improvement of agricultural productivity of the sector. 

LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
It is assumed that a learner attempting this unit standard will demonstrate competence against unit standard
  • NQF 4: Implement soil fertility and plant nutrition practices. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    Whilst range statements have been defined generically to include as wide a set of alternatives as possible, all range statements should be interpreted within the specific context of application.

    Range statements are neither comprehensive nor necessarily appropriate to all contexts. Alternatives must however be comparable in scope and complexity. These are only as a general guide to scope and complexity of what is required. 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Interpret soil and leaf analysis and make appropriate nutrient application recommendations. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    A recommendation refers to nutrient application, which includes but is not limited to agrochemical or organic nutrient material. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The ability to interpret soil and leaf analysis is demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The ability to make accurate nutrient recommendations based on the interpretation is demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The ability to distinguish between nutrient requirements of crops is explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Seasonal nutrient requirements of different crops are explained. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Optimise soil utilization plan according to crop and soil requirements. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Soil utilisation plan refers to but is not limited to crop establishment but can include conservation areas and infrastructure planning.

    Soil depth, drainage, infiltration rate, pH, water holding capacity, field capacity, soil horizons, soil aeration, erosion danger, organic content, active biomass, texture, clay content, structure, biological content, compaction, CEC, CAC, nutrient content, C:N ratios. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The ability to evaluate a soil utilization plan is demonstrated. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    A soil utilization plan in accordance with natural resource availability is designed. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Keep all records regarding soil properties and use to build a database for future reference. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Records refer to but not limited to leaf, soil and fruit analysis, soil maps and observations of soil properties and crop yields. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Different types of data collected are categorised. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Different types of record keeping systems are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    An ability to use the information from the database appropriately is demonstrated. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Design a soil systems management strategy. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Soil systems refer to but are not limited to soil maps, field histories, slope / contours, mulching, application of nutrients, soil preparation techniques, rehabilitation, erosion control measures, compaction control measures, controlled traffic, and crust formation control measures, chemical, physical and biological properties. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The various components of a soils systems management plan are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    A soil systems management plan is produced. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The sustainability of a soil management plan is evaluated. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Create and implement a database for soil management. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Soil preparation and improvement Method / technique for soil improvement according to soil properties refer to but is not limited to Tillage operations such as mechanical, non mechanical, organic, Minimum and zero Tillage and application of nutrients (liquid and solid). 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The different types of soil preparation methods are explained. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Different methods of soil improvement are described. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The suitability of a nutrient management plan in relation to soil conservation, water availability and crop requirements is evaluated. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
    The assessment of qualifying learners against this standard should meet the requirements of established assessment principles.

    It will be necessary to develop assessment activities and tools, which are appropriate to the contexts in which the qualifying learners are working. These activities and tools may include an appropriate combination of self-assessment and peer assessment, formative and summative assessment, portfolios and observations etc.

    The assessment should ensure that all the specific outcomes; critical cross-field outcomes and essential embedded knowledge are assessed.

    The specific outcomes must be assessed through observation of performance. Supporting evidence should be used to prove competence of specific outcomes only when they are not clearly seen in the actual performance.

    Essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in its own right, through oral or written evidence and cannot be assessed only by being observed.

    The specific outcomes and essential embedded knowledge must be assessed in relation to each other. If a qualifying learner is able to explain the essential embedded knowledge but is unable to perform the specific outcomes, they should not be assessed as competent. Similarly, if a qualifying learner is able to perform the specific outcomes but is unable to explain or justify their performance in terms of the essential embedded knowledge, then they should not be assessed as competent.

    Evidence of the specified critical cross-field outcomes should be found both in performance and in the essential embedded knowledge.

    Performance of specific outcomes must actively affirm target groups of qualifying learners, not unfairly discriminate against them. Qualifying learners should be able to justify their performance in terms of these values.
  • Anyone assessing a learner against this unit standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable achievement of this unit standard or assessing this unit standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the moderation guidelines in the relevant qualification and the agreed ETQA procedures. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
    The person is able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of:
  • Sampling procedures
  • Chemical, properties of soil - pH, Nutrient status and degradation, C: N relation in soil, Cation Exchangeable Capacity, pH, Cation Absorptive Capacity, Buffering capacity,
  • Physical properties of soil - Texture, structure, soil profiles, crust formation, erosion types, compaction, and degradation
  • Biological properties of soil and processes
  • Soil ecology e.g. soil organisms, food webs, role of water and oxygen in soil
  • Soil health and conservation
  • Role of living organisms
  • Conservation practices - Runoff control, contours,
  • Tillage operations - mechanical, non mechanical, organic, Minimum and zero Tillage and application of nutrients (liquid and solid) Primary and secondary soil preparation methods, mulching
  • Soil preparation and fertiliser application equipment
  • Nutrients - Mixtures, limes, calcitic and dolomitic lime, single nutritients and compost, liquids, etc.
  • Calibration of equipment
  • Chemical, physical and biological properties, degradation and rehabilitation
  • Characteristics of the nutrients
  • Role of nutrients in the plant
  • Rules and regulations for storage and handling of agro-chemicals, transport
  • Crop requirements and growth of plants
  • Soil water relationships
  • Mulching and ploughing in of mulch layer
  • Pollution prevention
  • Biological processes
  • Mineral cycles e.g. Nitrogen,
  • Deficiency symptoms
  • Application methods such as fertigation, row applications, broadcast, and leaf applications
  • GAP principles
  • Soil maps
  • Crop rotation and companion planting and their role in soil health. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Problem Solving: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Teamwork: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Self-management: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Interpreting Information: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Communication: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Use Science and Technology: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    The world as a set of related systems: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO CONTRIBUTING 
    Self-development: Relates to all specific outcomes. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    N/A 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  49010   National Diploma: Plant Production  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  AgriSETA 
    Elective  63249   National Diploma: Agricultural Extension  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Reregistered  2023-06-30  AgriSETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.