The word agronomy is derived from the Greek words, ‘agros’ which means “field” and ‘nomos’ meaning “to manage”, together it is known as field management. Technically, it means the principles and practices of soil, water, crop management. which is why it is known as the “art of managing field”.
Definition of Agronomy
Agronomy is the branch of agriculture science and technology of using plants and producing food, fuel, fiber, and land reclamation and provide a favorable environment to crop for higher productivity in terms of quantity and quality both. Peter Decresenzi is regarded as the father of agronomy.
Agronomy deals with different management practices like tillage, seeds and sowing, nutrient management, water management, weed management, harvesting, storage, and marketing. Also, Agronomy works in the areas of several disciplines like plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science, agricultural chemistry, crop physiology, plant ecology, biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, and earth science.
- As an art, agronomy refers to the knowledge of the way to perform the operations of the farm in a skillful manner but does not necessarily include an understanding of the principles underlying farm practices. Both physical and mental skills are essential for successful crop production.
- Agronomy is a science because scientific principles are freely used for the production of quality crops which focuses on improving agricultural productivity and gaining a degree of understanding of the process involved.
- Agronomy is a business because small and marginal farmers take crop production on subsistence levels but progressive and large farmers consider it to maximize production as well as profit.
Agronomists are specialized in areas such as crop rotation, irrigation and drainage, soil classification, soil fertility, weed control, and insect/pest control.
Importance of Agronomy
- Agronomy is the backbone of all agricultural sciences, because the management of soil and water, to achieve the production potential of high-yielding varieties, in the green revolution, is exclusively an agronomic domain.
- Like agriculture, it is an integrated and applied aspect of different disciplines of pure sciences.
- Agronomists can be able to synthesize production practices from several fields of specialization. The problem of global food security remains unsolved.
- With an increase in the population demand for food is also increasing, whereas the essential factors in food products such as cultivated land and freshwater are decreasing continuously.
- Current trends in world agriculture show that it is imperative to find a scientific and rational way to develop it, a way that can not only steadily increase the output but also ensure long-term sustainable use of resources within the process of promoting agricultural development.
Scope of Agronomy
The scope of agronomy science becomes imperative in Agriculture in the following areas.
- Proper methods of cultivation are needed to scale back the value of cultivation and maximize the yield and economic returns.
- Identification of proper season for the cultivation of a wide range of crops is needed which could be made possible only by Agronomy science.
- The availability and application of chemical fertilizers have necessitated the generation of knowledge to reduce the ill effects due to excess application and yield losses due to the unscientific manner of application.
- The availability of herbicides for the control of weeds has led to the development of vast knowledge about selectivity, time & method of its application.
- Water management practices play a greater role in the present-day crisis of water demand and Agronomy science answer to the questions ‘how much to apply?’ and ‘when to apply?’.
- Intensive cropping is that the need for the day and proper time and space intensification not only increases the assembly but also reduces the environmental hazards.
- New technology to overcome the effect of moisture stress under dryland conditions is explored by Agronomy and future agriculture depends on dryland agriculture.
- Packages of practices to explore the complete potential of the latest sorts of crops are the foremost important aspects of crop production which might be made possible only by Agronomy science.
- Maintaining the ecological balance through efficient management of crops, livestock, and their feedings in a rational manner are feasible only by knowing agronomic principles.