Agronomy Essentials


​ ​Agronomy Essentials Earns Purdue Award​

Purdue University awarded Agronomy Essentials with the 2015 Award for Excellence in Distance Learning for professional development.  This award was accepted with deep appreciation after a year of planning, design and development by Bruce Erickson, PhD and his team of nearly 30 people who contributed to the success of the course.

Agronomy Essentials resulted from feedback given by a group of major agricultural company representatives who expressed the need for a basic online course in agronomy for their employees.  Designed to meet the needs of a cross-section of agricultural professionals, the course benefits professionals with varying degrees of agronomic understanding.  It is a basic, broad-ranging course that explores soil structure and content and  seed selection and continues through the planting, growing, harvesting and marketing process. 

Offered for the first time in January, sixty participants successfully completed the course in the 12 weeks allotted.  Post course survey results were overwhelmingly positive, with 100% stating that they increased their knowledge of agronomy by taking the course. 

Registration opens in May for the next course offering, which will run from June 24 through September 16.  The final course for 2015 will take place from September 30 through December 23.​ 


 Striving for Global Excellence


​The Purdue University Department of Agronomy provides progressive and relevant undergraduate, graduate and extension education programs; conducts high impact fundamental and applied research at multiple scales to ensure that our science addresses immediate problems and anticipates future challenges; actively engages partners in the public and private sectors; and contributes to the dev​elopment of the national and international agenda for research and education.


 Featured Articles


Boosting global corn yields depends on improving nutrient balance

Ensuring that corn absorbs the right balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is crucial to increasing global yields, a Purdue and Kansas State University study finds. 

A review of data from more than 150 studies from the U.S. and other regions showed that high yields were linked to production systems in which corn plants took up key nutrients at specific ratios - nitrogen and phosphorus at a ratio of 5-to-1 and nitrogen and potassium at a ratio of 1-to-1. These nutrient uptake ratios were associated with high yields regardless of the region where the corn was grown.

The world needs innovation and partnership​

Gebisa Ejeta, the 2009 World Food Prize winner, says while reducing losses is critical, there are many more factors that come into play in developing nations. “The 2007-08 food price crisis proved that population growth, lack of employment and poverty are aligned with hunger and political instability,” says Ejeta, a native of Ethiopia. “And that is not good for anyone.”

Purdue mapping technology could help farmers better understand soil functionality

A Purdue University agronomist has developed soil-mapping technology that provides visual information about soil functionality and productivity, which could increase profitability for farmers and growers as they cultivate their crops.


Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide updated and expanded

Farmers interested in planting cover crops to improve soil health now have an updated and expanded resource in the second edition of the Midwest Cover Crops Field Guide.​​​ The pocket guide, released Monday (Sept. 22), is produced by Purdue University and the Midwest Cover Crops Council. 

Growers plant cover crops for a variety of reasons and possible benefits. Cover crops can trap nitrogen left in the soil after cash-crop harvest, scavenging the nitrogen to build soil organic matter and recycling some nitrogen for later crop use. They also can prevent erosion, improve soil physical and biological characteristics, suppress weeds, improve water quality and conserve soil moisture by providing surface mulch.​​




 Agronomy Student News


​​Agronomy student cultivates opportunities​ 

Inside the life science greenhouse complex in Purdue's Lilly Hall, the smells of soil and plants saturate the humid air. To Joe Atha, a senior sustainable agronomic systems: agronomic management​ major from Oxford, Indiana, it smells like opportunities.​

From a student's view

Agronomy/NRES Ambassador Blog 

Learn about what it is like to be a Purdue Agronomy or NRES student by checking out the ambassador blog. This blog gives insight to the daily life or our students. ​​​​​

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