Agronomy: Making Farming More Eco-Friendly and Improving Efficiency
For years, farmers concentrated only on getting the most out of their land. While this has been a boon to the overall volume of food produced per hectare, it has come at a cost. Depleted soils, erosion, fertilizer runoff, and other problems make traditional farming harsh on the overall environment. Soil depletion also makes farmers dependent on buying more and more fertilizer, which not only continues the cycle, but cuts into profitability and makes farming a less-viable business.
In order to combat these environmental and financial problems, farmers are no longer focusing only on the horticultural aspects of what they do. Instead, they are turning to agronomy, which is a larger field that includes using methods that make food more nutritious, improve soil health, and otherwise make food production a more sustainable endeavor.
The University of Queensland is offering degrees and courses in agronomy to help farmers and those entering the field learn the latest information on new ways of producing food. These courses cover issues like how to improve the efficiency of land while preserving the land's health, how to assess the nutritional value of crops and how to improve it, and more. They are great not only for those who wish to become farmers, but also those who are already in the business and want to upgrade their skills to include the latest eco-friendly methods.
One of the big reasons agronomy is growing is that it is clear that the drive to be more environmentally friendly is not going away. Instead, it is becoming the standard way to go about things. Companies ranging from huge agricultural conglomerates all the way to family-run operations are striving to not just keep up with the change, but get to its forefront.