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What to know before choosing a career in agronomy

Posted 16 days ago by Rebekah Shields

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Now more than ever, the world is looking to agriculture to provide the answers for a possible impending food crisis. And if you’re a forward-thinker who wants to be part of the solution, then a career in agriculture could certainly be the way forward for you.

In today’s age of advanced technologies and industries, agriculture has come to mean so much more than milking cows and sowing seeds. Agriculture today is a highly lucrative business that comes with countless satisfying job opportunities and rewarding experiences. And among the multitude of options available to you, if the prospect of working towards better crop management is what appeals to you the most, then being an agronomist could be the future you’re looking for.

What is agronomy?

Agronomy is the division of agriculture that’s concerned with the study of plants, the soil they grow in and their environment. This science and its related technologies make up an essential part of the process that contributes towards sustaining the food supply of the world. Typical agronomy jobs involve growing crops in a sustainable manner that causes as little harm to the environment as possible. Being an agronomist would require you to be working in areas such as environmental preservation, soil fertility, water quality preservation and land use.

This is a science that takes an interconnected approach to agriculture and creates practical solutions to enhance food production practices. Agronomists consider and measure the effect of every single factor that could possibly influence crop yields. This helps them develop strategies to grow crops profitably and easily while minimising the impact of farming on the environment. Nearly all crops grown through agronomy applications take up significant acreage, as they are staples that contribute largely towards fulfilling the world’s food demands.

What does an agronomist do?

The most important responsibility that agronomists are tasked with is to guide farmers on important crop management decisions. They do this by applying technological data from many scientific fields such as chemistry, biology, economics, soil science, water science and genetics. The food production methods that they devise are based on a great deal of scientific research and are continuously updated along with the latest field developments.

Agronomist jobs often require employees to be specialised in subjects such as plant physiology, pest control, irrigation, crop management and plant breeding. And while an agronomist’s main priority is to develop innovative technologies and practices to improve crop production, they are also capable of handling all of the agricultural areas that can affect this process.

Agronomists can work in a number of different positions such as educators, practitioners and farm advice experts, where they use the newest industry standard procedures and tools to produce crops both efficiently and profitably. They are also responsible for making sure that all government legislation is followed when resolving any issues that may be affecting the crops.

If you’re considering being an agronomist, you’ll be expected to constantly update yourself on the latest research, and incorporate any new findings into your work. You’ll also be studying the viability of introducing new crop cultivars to increase profits, and decide if such projects would be compliant with best practice techniques in the industry. You must then create reports on your findings and observations that can be presented to the management and customers.

Most agronomy jobs can require you to devise and carry out fertiliser programmes that benefit crops and cause minimum damage to the environment. You’ll also need to establish frequent communication with farmers and the farm lobby to ensure that the crop production process happens smoothly without any complications.

Agronomists are responsible for erecting and maintaining storage buildings to stock crops safely. They must also be out on the field from time to time to collect seed, soil and plant samples. The collected samples must then be laboratory tested for any diseases, nutritional deficiencies and other problematic conditions. Agronomists can sometimes be expected to manage teams of scientists when carrying out field tasks and laboratory work. In addition to this, they are also required to keep accurate records of the business’ fields, crops, samples and customers.

The job duties of agronomists can extend to speeding up the plant selection process and production through designing comprehensive budgets and planting/irrigation timetables. They can also be required to make educational presentations that can persuade clients to consider buying business products and services.

Requirements for agronomy jobs

The work responsibilities that come with agronomist jobs are many and diverse. This means that you should have well developed mathematical and analytical skills while always being on top of new industry technologies and trends. And if you’re someone who’s also patient and likes taking a methodical approach to resolving issues, then agronomy could be a good fit for you.

To be an agronomist, you would need to complete a Bachelor’s degree in agronomy, agriculture or a related field. However, it’s often recommended that you continue studying to achieve further qualifications. It is important that you be a good listener and have excellent verbal and written communication skills. You must also be organised and able to get along well with others. Sales and presentation skills will certainly come in handy as well. You would also need to show strong skills in decision making, critical thinking, research and problem-solving.

Working conditions

The normal working hours for an agronomist are between 9 AM – 5 PM from Monday to Friday. However, you’ll often need to have a flexible approach towards working hours, as they can depend on changes in the weather and the availability of the farmers.

Salary

As a beginner at agronomy jobs, you can expect to be paid between 20,000 pounds – 26,500 pounds a year. And once you’ve gained some experience on the field and manage to build up a network of clients and farmers in the industry, it can increase to a sum between 33,000 pounds – 44,000 pounds per year. Senior agronomists with plenty of experience can earn up to 100,000 pounds per annum and enjoy additional benefits such as a pension scheme, health care and a company car.

 

If you are looking for a new job or to progress your career, Agricultural Recruitment Specialists are worldwide recruitment experts in agricultural, food, farming and rural recruitment and have a variety of executive and management positions available within agriculture, horticulture and the food and rural sectors throughout the UK and the rest of the world. To find out more about our agricultural job vacancies and discuss your future career, contact our team of agricultural recruitment professionals. You can visit our website here: www.agriRS.co.uk or call our team on: 01905 345 155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk

Alternatively, if you are a client looking to expand your team, whilst using a professional recruitment / headhunting solution, then please call us today on 01905 345155 or email us at: info@agriRS.co.uk

 

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