The word agronomy has been derived from the two Greek words, agros and nomos having the meaning of field and to manage, respectively. Literally, agronomy means the “art of managing field”. Technically, it means the “science and economics of crop production by management of farm land”.
Definition : Agronomy is the art and underlying science in production and improvement of field crops with the efficient use of soil fertility, water, labourer and other factors related to crop production. Agronomy is the field of study and practice of ways and means of production of food, feed and fibre crops. Agronomy is defined as “a branch of agricultural science which deals with principles and prac- tices of field crop production and management of soil for higher productivity.
All the branches of agriculture, agronomy occupies a pivotal position and is regarded as the mother branch or primary branch. Like agriculture, agronomy is an integrated and applied aspect of different disciplines of pure sciences. Agronomy has three clear branches namely, (i) Crop Science, (ii) Soil Science, and (Hi) Environmental Science that deals only with applied aspects. (i.e.,) Soil-Crop- Environmental relationship. Agronomy is a synthesis of several disciplines like crop science, which includes plant breeding, crop physiology and biochemistry etc., and soil science, which includes soil fertilizers, manures etc., and environmental science which includes meteorology and crop ecology.
Basic Principles OF Agronomy
Planning, programming and executing measures for maximum utilization of land, labourer, capital and other factors of production.
• Choice of crop varieties adaptable to the particular agro-climate, land situation, soil fertility, season and method of cultivation and befitting to the cropping system;
• Proper field management by tillage, preparing field channels and bunds for irrigation and drainage, checking soil erosion, leveling and adopting other suitable land improvement practices;
• Adoption of multiple cropping and also mixed or intercropping to ensure harvest even under adverse environmental conditions;
• Timely application of proper and balanced nutrients to the crop and improvement of soil fertility and productivity. Correction of ill-effects of soil reactions and conditions and increasing soil organic matter through the application of green manure, farm yard manure, organic wastes, bio fertilizers and profitable recycling of organic wastes;
Choice of quality seed or seed material and maintenance of requisite plant density per unit area with healthy and uniform seedlings; • Proper water management with respect to crop, soil and environment through conservation and utilization of soil moisture as well as by utilizing water that is available in excess, and schedul- ing irrigation at critical stages of crop growth. • Adoption of adequate, need-based, timely and exacting plant protection measures against weeds, insect-pests, pathogens, as well as climatic hazards and correction of deficiencies and disorders; • Adoption of suitable and appropriate management practices including intercultural operations to get maximum benefit from inputs dearer and difficult to get, low-monetary and non-monetary inputs; • Adoption of suitable method and time of harvesting of crop to reduce field loss and to release land for succeeding crop(s) and efficient utilization of residual moisture, plant nutrients and other management practices;
Agronomist: “Scientist who studies the principles and practices of crop production and soil manage-
ment for production of food for human beings and feed for his animals”.
Role of Agronomist
- Generally agronomist studies the problems of crop production and develops better ways of
producing food, feed and fibre.
- Agronomist aims at obtaining maximum production at minimum cost e.g., developing efficient
and economic field preparation method (i.e.) energy should be minimized (i.e.) what type of
crop, in what season, etc.
- Agronomist shoulder the responsibilities of all social, economic, cultural problems in addition
to field problems for the effective functioning of the farm in general.
- Agronomist exploits the knowledge developed by basic and allied, applied sciences for higher
- Agronomist carries out research on scientific cultivation of crops taking into account the effect
of factors like soil, climate, crop varieties and adjust production techniques suitably depending
on the situation.
- Since, the agronomist co-operates and co-ordinate with all the disciplines of agriculture, it is
essential that an agronomist should have training in other disciplines of agriculture also.
- To develop efficient method of cultivation (whether broadcasting, nursery and transplantation or
dibbling, etc.) The method may vary according to the germination period and depending upon
the crop establishment and what should be the optimum plant population.
- He has to identify various types of nutrients required by crops, e.g., for long duration rice
(150-100-50 kg), for pulses N 2 , P and K. If the method of cultivation varies the nutrient content
also varies. The time and method of applying nutrients must also be taken into account. Method
refers to broadcast or to apply close to the root or through leaves (i.e.) foliage.