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Agronomist

Position Overview

Agronomists, also known as a crop scientist, conducts experiments and researches ways that improve crops and production. While their specific roles may vary in different companies, their overall focus is on food supply and what changes can increase production of various plant types. They may be a consultant, teacher, or researcher and therefore could work in the lab, office, classroom, or out in the field. Agronomists need to have critical thinking abilities to solve complex problems. They may look at different farms production levels to determine the best planting, harvesting, and cultivating methods, while taking into consideration weather conditions of the area, as well as what crops are at risk of pests and diseases. The data analysis completed by crop scientists should be designed in a relatable format so the public can easily read and understand the information. To report and analyze the data, agronomists should also have strong analytical skills to ensure the appropriate results are calculated.

Agronomist Duties

  • Conduct experiments to determine best crop production methods
  • Analyze crop data and understand trends
  • Look for opportunities to improve current agriculture products
  • Do field studies to understand crop behaviour
  • Report on findings
  • Educate students and/or the public regarding crop science
  • Make speeches and presentations
  • Provide expert advice and consultation to farmers for pest and disease management
  • Monitor soil moisture levels and take soil samples
  • Schedule appropriate irrigation
  • Plan and budget for crops
  • Plan effective crop rotation techniques
  • Recommend fertilizer and chemical application

Typical Employers

  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • Research firms
  • Seed companies
  • Agribusinesses
  • Government
  • Companies offering agronomic services

Required Education and Training

At minimum, agronomists should have a bachelor's degree in agriculture, crop science, agricultural science, or a related field. Candidates who have a master's degree will have a competitive edge. It is also beneficial for applicants to have an agriculture background or experience with crop consulting.

Key Skills and Qualities

  • Valid drivers licence
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong decision making skills
  • Ability to work individually and as part of a team
  • Self-motivated
  • Effective researcher
  • Passion to improve the crop industry
  • Willingness to travel occasionally
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Great presenter
  • Good computer skills

Average Salary

  • Entry level agronomist make approximately £20,000 to £25,000
  • Agronomists with a few years of experience can make about £40,000
  • Senior, or consultant agronomists will make an average of £50,000