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What is an Agronomist?

An Agronomist is a specialized type of Soil and Plant Scientist. Also known as: Certified Professional Agronomist, Certified Crop Advisor, Certified Agronomist, Crop Nutrition Scientist.

An agronomist often acts as a liaison between the farmer and the crop researchers. He or she will review research findings and use this knowledge to help recommend solutions to farmers. Suggestions are made to the farmer regarding new scientific developments in order to help the growing operation.

If there is a problem with a crop, an agronomist will spend several hours examining the crop, looking for signs as to whether there is a sign of disease, an insect problem, a weed issue or even a problem with the soil. The agronomist will then compare and research scientific journals and reference books as well as speak with his peers in order to pinpoint the cause and find a solution for the farmer.

What does an Agronomist do?

Agronomists have a wide range of work, but their role is best summed up as a “crop doctor.” They are concerned with the health and well-being of crops used for food production, fuel, and land reclamation. Agronomists conduct experiments to develop the best methods for increasing the quality and production of crops. Based on their experiments, agronomists work with farmers to help them grow the best possible crops, such as corn, cotton, soybeans, and wheat. They have an extensive knowledge of chemistry, biology, economics, earth science, ecology, and genetics

An agronomist spends time in the lab going over crop data that has been collected to find out how to improve the next generation. They have to think critically and solve problems concerning the planting, harvesting, and cultivation of crops. They also develop methods for protecting the crops from weeds, pests, and harsh climates. After they have written up their research, an agronomist will make presentations and speeches about their findings and present their ideas to farmers who can use the information for their own harvests. An agronomist also spends a lot of time traveling and meeting with farmers, working with them to improve crop efficiency and looking at any problems the farmer may be experiencing. 

There are a variety of roles an agronomist can specialize in: 

Research
Research in agronomy includes crop productivity, genetic engineering, and conservation practises. Research agronomists often work in labs but also perform large amounts of field work. Almost all research agronomists have a master’s or doctorate degree in agronomy or a related field. 

Crop Production and Management
These types of agronomists most often work with field crops. They manage crop planting and harvesting, and implement more efficient farming practises. This role may also include the management of recreational areas, like golf courses and sports fields. This job usually involves a lot of time working outdoors. 

Sustainable Development
Agronomists in this field work with all kinds of agricultural projects, ranging from large high-tech farms to smaller individual farms in developing nations. Whatever the size, this kind of agronomist is concerned with helping farmers develop and implement practises that ensure operations remain economically and environmentally viable for the future. 

Soil and Water Conservation
Agronomists involved in this field are often scientists and engineers. They might implement practises to improve water quality, manage runoff, and control erosion. Depending on the job, conservation agronomists may spend time outdoors, in an office, or both.

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What is the workplace of an Agronomist like?

Depending on the type of work that an agronomist specializes in, much of their work takes place researching within a lab or on the field, checking up on the crops and working with farmers. Field work is most prominent in the spring and summer months while the winter months typically involve a lot more lab work and business development.

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