Department of Agronomy

What is Agronomy?

Agronomy is the study and science of crop production and the production systems used. This includes the extensive open field cultivation of plant species for human food supply, livestock and poultry feed, fibers, oils and certain industrial products. It also looks at the improvement of crops (cereals, protein and oilseed harvests) in a sustainable manner to ensure sufficient food supply for an ever-increasing world population. As a field of study Agronomy integrates crop, soil and related sciences. Agronomists are presently involved in many issues including food production, the production of healthier food, managing the environmental impact of agriculture, and even creating energy from plants.​

The Department of Agronomy

Since then the department remained at the forefront of agronomic research and development in the country. The Department’s involvement in the science of plants and plant matters is one of the most important links for meeting the increasing requirement for food, fuel and fiber in an over-populated world facing the challenge of climate change. There is a serious shortage of agronomists and with increasing challenges demand will undoubtedly increase even more.​

Program Information

BScAgric (Plant and Soil Sciences)

The four-year program in plant and soil sciences offers training in the production of agricultural and vegetable crops, fodder crops, aromatic plants, deciduous fruit, citrus, fynbos and vineyards. For each crop, knowledge of the following is integrated into a meaningful whole: agricultural economics, biochemistry, biometrics, crop production, entomology, genetics, nematology, plant pathology and soil science.

The program is subdivided into 3 fields of study:

  • Crop Productions: In this field of study, you will receive training in the production and quality management including field crops, deciduous fruit, citrus, fynbos, vineyard and greenhouse crops.
  • Crop Protection and Breeding: This field of study trains you as an expert in crop protection (entomological and nematological pests, plant diseases and their control) and genetic crop improvement (cultivation and manipulation).
  • Soil and Water Management:  This field of study equips you with the expertise to understand the nature, importance and management of soil and water as they relate to crop production.

Opting for study in one of these three fields prepares you for a variety of careers in the agriculture industry or agriculture-related industries, including careers such as adviser, consultant, entrepreneur, manager, technician and researcher. ​