Agronomy is a highly specialized branch of agricultural sciences. Agronomy deals with the efficient methods of crop production, crop improvement and soil management. A professionally qualified person in Agronomy is called an Agronomist.
Since agronomists normally work in those areas that are related to soil management, soil improvement, crop management, crop improvement, plant genetics, plant breeding, cropping systems, plant nutrition, soil conservation, water conservation etc, major career responsibilities of professional agronomists include soil testing and soil analysis for determining soil fertility; developing plans for various agronomic packages of practices based on soil test results; land surveying and mapping;
Development of agronomic plans for land improvement based on soil survey results; development of land reclamation and waste land management programs; development of weed management programs; development of advanced highly effective agronomic package of practices for higher crop yields; development of highly effective insect-pest management and fertilizer application packages; development of new varieties of the agronomic crops and so on.
Professional agronomists are also responsible for teaching agronomy students in schools and agricultural colleges. Their profession may also require them to advise progressive farmers on newly developed agronomic package of practices. They may also conduct seminars and workshops on agronomy and actively involved in various agronomic researches. They publish research publications on their research works for public awareness.
In order to practice as an agronomist, one needs to have at least a master level qualification in Agronomy from a reputed agricultural college. A typical course curriculum of Agronomy includes topics such as fundamental principles of agronomy and crop production; soil properties, soil classification and soil management; soils and its effect on crop growth; crop management; agronomic package of practices for different crops; cropping pattern and so on.
Various industries that recruit professional agronomists include crop consulting firms; environmental organizations; soil research organizations; agribusiness industry; seed industry; weed research organizations; agricultural universities and colleges; government agricultural departments; farmer advisory groups etc.
Job areas of agronomists include crop management; crop improvement; crop production; soil science; soil management; forage land management; environmental science; weed management; weed science; agribusiness management; seed technology; crop production; soil classification, land classification; soil conservation; water conservation and all other related fields.