Imagine if you could create more nutritious food, develop plants that fight insects on their own or help preserve the world's forest and other natural habitats. By choosing a career in research and agronomy you can help advance technologies to provide health and environmental solutions.
The field of research involves utilizing the knowledge of genetics and genomics to create new and improved seed varieties. Plant breeders utilize a variety of techniques from selection to modern biotechnology that allows the extraction, addition or alteration of specific genes to achieve beneficial plant traits such as insect resistance or drought tolerance. Agronomy encompasses work in the areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, water management and soil science. Agronomists draw on a combination of sciences and technology including biology, chemistry, ecology and genetics to improve plant productivity and manage the environmental impact of agriculture. Research and field agronomists are often responsible for recommendations on seeding techniques, fertility and pest management, soil and water management and crop rotations. Researchers and agronomists today are involved in many key issues affecting our planet including:
- Food security – creating plants that produce higher yields on the same land base
- Health – creating more nutritious, better quality food
- Climate Change – developing plants that can survive drought, salinity or flooding
- Environment – facilitating soil and water saving farming practices
- Biodiversity – growing more per acre to help preserve forests and other wildlife habitats
- Energy – creating renewable resources to fuel the world
People working in seed research and agronomy have a broad spectrum of education including Diploma, BSc., MSc., and PhD. These can be in several areas such as plant breeding, genetics, agronomy, biotechnology or pathology.
Careers in Research and Agronomy include:
- Plant Breeder
- Laboratory Technician
- Molecular Geneticist
- Research Agronomist
- Quality Technician
- Seed Purity Specialist