What is an Agronomist?
An Agronomist’s job includes working on field crop production and soil management that is grown on a large scale. An agronomist is someone who understands the properties of the soil and how the earth interacts with a crop that is growing.
What is an Agronomy Career?
Agronomy is the area of agriculture that deals with field crop production, soil management and crop protection, it’s at the very root of the food production industry. You will engage and communicate with clients and farmers, and study crop materials. Without agronomy and agronomists, we may not have the crops, livestock and production levels we need to feed the nation – that’s how important it is!
What does it take?
You can get into this job through:
- A college course
- High-level / higher-level apprenticeship
- Applying directly to entry-level position jobs
- University degree
- Training with a professional body such as MDS and completing a BASIS training scheme.
Skills and Knowledge
Within Agronomy, the skills you will need can be broken down into soft and hard skills. Soft skills are more transferable skills, whereas hard skills focus more on technical ability. There are many kinds of soft and hard skills but we will break down the most common ones.
Agronomy Soft Skills:
- Knowing what nutrients a crop needs and when to feed the crops
- Understanding the ways a crop grows and develops
- The ability to research effectively and carry out detailed analysis and lab work
- Good attention to detail and critical thinking
Agronomy Hard Skills:
- The ability to observe samples, analyse data and create and present reports
- Good communication skills both verbally and in writing
- Interpersonal skills for meeting clients and liaising with farmers
What Will The Person Do?
As an agronomist, your role will vary day to day depending on the specific area you work in.
You will be responsible for collecting and analysing crop and soil samples, keeping up to date on the latest research and legislation, and applying this to your role.
Advising farmers on improving their crop yields, studying soil, and water and looking at other factors that may affect the crops will also be an essential part of your role. You will need to be able to record details of information on environmental conditions and the resulting crops to keep clear records. Carrying out research into new technology and advancements in the world of agriculture will also make sure that you’re at the forefront of industry changes.
Career Path and Progression
There are a lot of career prospects for Agronomists and you can be employed across a variety of areas. These include but are not limited to:
- Head of Agronomy
- Business Development Agronomist
- Research Organisations
- Government Departments
- Technical Agronomist
- Commercial Manager