Agronomy is the study and technology of growing and using plants for food, energy, fiber, chemicals, recreation, or the preservation of agricultural land. Plant genetics, plant physiology, soil science, and meteorology studies are now all included in the field of agronomy. It involves applying a variety of scientific disciplines, including biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, earth science, and genetics. Agronomists are experts in agriculture.
Topics under Agronomy
- Plant breeding
Plants are selectively bred in this field of agronomy to produce the finest crops under various environmental conditions. Corn, soybeans, and wheat are just a few of the crops whose nutritional value has increased due to plant breeding, along with crop yields. It has also led to the emergence of new plant species. For instance, the hybrid crop triticale was produced by crossing rye and wheat. Triticale offers more usable protein than rye or wheat. Research on the production of fruits and vegetables has also benefited from agronomy. Moreover, the use of plant breeding in the creation of turfgrass has reduced the need for fertilizer and water inputs (requirements) and produced turf varieties with greater disease resistance.
Agronomists employ biotechnology to hasten and broaden the development of desired characteristics. Oftentimes, biotechnology is a laboratory activity that calls for field testing of newly developed agricultural varieties.
Agronomic biotechnology is increasingly being used for novel non-food applications in addition to increasing agricultural production. For instance, fatty acids can be extracted from oilseed and used in petrochemicals, alternative fuels, and detergents. Nowadays, margarine and other culinary oils are the main uses for oilseed.
- Soil science
Agronomists investigate cost-effective and environmentally friendly methods to increase soil productivity. To determine whether the soil has the nutrients required for plant growth, they classify and inspect it. Among the common macronutrients explored are the compounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Many soil micronutrients, such as zinc and boron, are also evaluated. The amount of organic matter, soil pH, and nutrient retention capacity (cation exchange capacity) are all assessed at a nearby laboratory. Agronomists will assess these test results and make recommendations on how to modify soil nutrient levels for optimal plant growth.
- Soil conservation
Agronomists develop methods for defending soil and reducing the effects of wind and water erosion. One technique that can be used to prevent soil erosion and conserve water is contour plowing. Also, agronomists are searching for more effective ways to use the soil to solve other problems. These concerns include how to dispose of human and animal waste appropriately, pollute the water, stop pesticides from accumulating in the soil, and save the soil for future generations by burning paddocks after crop harvest. Examples of pasture management techniques include no-till farming, the use of contour drains with a depth of up to one meter and the planting of soil-binding grasses along the contours of steep slopes.
Agroecology is the management of agricultural systems with an emphasis on ecological and environmental applications. Work on alternative agricultural systems, sustainable agriculture, organic farming, and alternative food systems are all closely related to this topic.
- Theoretical modeling
Technically speaking, theoretical production ecology is the quantitative study of plant growth. It is thought of as a kind of biological factory where the plant transforms nutrients, water, CO2, and light into products that may be gathered. The main elements considered are temperature, sunlight, standing crop biomass, plant production distribution, fertilizer availability, and water availability.