The role of agronomy in a technical world

Cynthia Grant

Minnedosa, Manitoba, R0J 1E0 Canada


The science of agronomy has existed for millennia, but may be considered irrelevant by administrators and funding agencies when compared to emerging technological developments in equipment, chemistry and genetics.  While new technology provides innovative tools to improve crop productivity and sustainability, the science of agronomy is critical to ensure that those tools are used in an integrated production system.  Doing more with less requires that all available technology is used as effectively as possible, which in turn requires an understanding of how that technology interacts with the agroecosystem. Agronomy relies on the continual modification of farming systems based on new technology and the new challenges and opportunities that arise.  For example, the availability of improved herbicides and better equipment paved the way for development of no-till farming systems, which required new agronomic practices for crop rotations and nutrient management.  Herbicide tolerant crops led to the development of herbicide-resistant weeds, requiring reevaluation of integrated weed management systems. The integration of knowledge through agronomic science will be increasingly important to take advantage of the opportunities created by new technology in genetics, chemistry and equipment and to address the risks to a secure and nutritious food supply posed by climate change, soil degradation, decreasing water supplies, increasing population density and the growing disconnect between agriculture and the urban population.

Keywords:  tillage system, 4R nutrient management, genetics


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Southern Farming Systems Agriculture Victoria

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2015 - 2017 Conference Design Pty Ltd