What is Agronomy and Soils?

Agronomy is the science of crop production. It incorporates the basic sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, geology, microbiology, etc.) into an applied science which is the foundation for most agriculture. Soil science involves not only those aspects which relate to crop production but also environmental aspects of soil management. This scientific area is concerned with a wide variety of specialized topics:

  • Soils
  • Rural and urban land utilization
  • Production of food, feed, fiber, oil, and turf crops
  • Protection of our environment
  • Plant physiology
  • Plant breeding
  • Weed control
  • Chemical, physical and biological properties of soils
  • Efficient production with environmental protection

Agronomy and Soils at Auburn University

Courses prepare Agronomy graduates for the chemical industry, producers of fertilizers, herbicides and other agricultural chemicals; farm-advisory agencies such as soil testing laboratories and other private consultants; public farm-advisory agencies such as the Agricultural Extension Service or the Soil Conservation Service; research agencies of corporations, U.S. Department of Agriculture, colleges and universities and State Agricultural Experiment Stations; turf grass industry and farming.

The Agronomy and Soils curriculum at Auburn University offers the student a wide range of opportunities. This curriculum allows for specialization by offering a Production Track, a Business Track, a Turf Management Track and a Science Track.

In addition to courses that are specific for the area of study (crop production, turf grass management, plant breeding, weed science, soil classification, land management, soil fertility and soil testing), Agronomy and Soils students take courses in such basic sciences as biology, chemistry, math, physics and computer science.

While at Auburn, students participate in many campus activities. An important one for the Agronomy and Soils major is the Agronomy Club. This organization offers students the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with other students, with faculty and with guest lecturers. It also provides tours of private businesses and research facilities in Alabama and neighboring states. Students also participate in intercollegiate soil judging contests, an activity in which Auburn teams have been consistent winners.


Opportunities for Graduates

Completion of the broad-based academic program required in the Agronomy and Soils curriculum provides graduates with excellent job opportunities and the needed background for advanced studies.

Challenges from many areas are available to graduates. With a continuing interest in providing for an increasing population, specialized areas in the broad field of agronomy can be pursued. Much of the research currently being conducted involves new and exciting techniques in chemistry and biology, including genetics.

The environment has always been a major concern of the agronomist, and there continues to be a strong interest in soil and water conservation and protection and in rural and urban land utilization. This emphasis offers many challenging career opportunities for the Agronomy and Soils student.

Graduates of Auburn University's Agronomy and Soils program are prominent in several areas of endeavor:

  • Farm Management
  • the Agricultural Industry (production and sale of fertilizers, pesticides and seed)
  • the Turf Grass Industry
  • Public Farm Advisory Agencies, such as the Cooperative Extension Service and Natural Recource Conservation Service
  • Professional Agricultural Consulting
  • Teaching and Research
  • Environmental Protection Agencies

For Additional Information, Contact:
Dr. John Beasley, Department Head
Department of Agronomy and Soils
202 Funchess Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849-5412
Phone: 334-844-4100
Fax: 334-844-3945

Last Updated: January 22, 2014

Agronomy & Soils | 201 Funchess Hall | Auburn University | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | ☎ (334) 844-4100 | FAX (334) 844-3945 |
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