“The study of the soil is known as “agronomy,” but, from the foregoing remarks, it will be seen that agronomy is not in itself a science, but expresses the bearing of several recognised branches of science upon the study of soils.” ~John Wrightson “Agronomy is the scientific management of land to practice effective soil conservation and to maximize crop production.” ~Jim Cole Agronomy is the science and technology of producing and using plants for food, fuel, fiber, and land reclamation. Agronomy has come to encompass work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science. It is the application of a combination of sciences like biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, earth science, and genetics. Agronomists of today are involved with many issues, including producing food, creating healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, and extracting energy from plants. Agronomists often specialize in areas such as crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, plant breeding, plant physiology, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, and insect and pest control. This area of agronomy involves selective breeding of plants to produce the best crops under various conditions. Plant breeding has increased crop yields and has improved the nutritional value of numerous crops, including corn, soybeans, and wheat. It has also led to the development of new types of plants. For example, a hybrid grain called triticale was produced by crossbreeding rye and wheat. Triticale contains more usable protein than does either rye or wheat. Agronomy has also been instrumental in fruit and vegetable production research. Agronomist duties and responsibilities include: Conduct experiments. Agronomists work with farmers to implement new cropping practices to try and increase the farm’s economic return Collect samples to perform analyses. Agronomists collect biological and non-biological samples from the fields in which they work to have them analyzed, so that they can understand the environment in which their plants are growing. Monitor plant growth and crop performance. Agronomists carefully monitor the effects of outside factors on plant growth, such as soil characteristics, temperatures, water levels, pests, and water drainage. Consult with farmers on farming techniques. Agronomists encourage farmers to implement practices to increase crop growth, improve management, and protect environmental sustainability.
Virender Lal Chopra Virender Lal Chopra is an Indian biotechnologist, geneticist, agriculturalist and a former director-general of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), known to have contributed to the development of wheat production in India. He is the chancellor of Central University of Kerala, a former Chancellor of the Central Agricultural University, Imphal and a former member of the Planning Commission of India. An elected fellow of several science academies such as Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, India, European Academy of Sciences and Arts and The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), he is a recipient of a number of honors including Borlaug Award, FAO World Food Day Award and Om Prakash Bhasin Award.