Agronomy Distance Education Courses


Agronomy Essentials


Overview and Syllabus​

Agronomy Essentials is an online course developed and delivered by Purdue University, to meet the needs of companies in increasing the agronomy knowledge of their workforce.  Learners are provided science-based concepts and examples to equip them to understand soils, cropping systems, tillage, soil conservation, precision farming, plant nutrition and soil fertility, crop protection/pest management, crop growth and development.  Topics are arranged around the sequence of the field activities surrounding crop production and relate directly to the decisions that farmers and their advisers make.

Content is delivered in an engaging, professionally produced format that includes 100 HD videos accompanied by additional reading, graphics and online glossary to help illustrate concepts.  Content is arranged in 26 modules within six major units.  They are presented over a twelve-week period.  Students are tested on their mastery of the material via 5-point tests after each module. The course will be offered from June 24 through September 16 and again from September 30 through December 23, 2015.​  The course will take an average of 26 to 30 hours to complete.

Those who successfully complete Agronomy Essentials will receive a Certificate of Completion and 25 Continuing Education Units for the Certified Crop Adviser program.  The course also provides an excellent foundation of knowledge for individuals who are preparing to take the Certified Crop Adviser exams​.​​

Precision Agriculture

For initial release on January 20, 2016

Overview and Syllabus​

Applying technology to crop production through mechanization, fertilizers, crop protection chemistry, genetics, and other innovations over the years has resulted in multiple-fold gains in productivity and efficiency. The application of information technology to crop production, known as precision agriculture, has already transformed many aspects of crop production and promises even more. Today’s precision farming era took root in the 1990’s, but its origins go back further from advancements in computer processing, data storage and transmission capabilities, global positioning systems, robotics, and much more.

While the capabilities of precision agriculture have progressed dramatically in recent years, an inability to understand and apply these to benefit crop production can greatly limit utility. Change has come so fast that many involved in crop production are unfamiliar with, or uncomfortable working around, an often intimidating array of sensors, wires, controllers, monitors, and computer programs. Variability within a field can be quantified, but what is its cause and what remedies will allow us to reduce inputs or increase yields?

Precision Agriculture is a fully online 12-week course that provides knowledge from which practitioners working in agriculture can better understand the science of site-specific agriculture to help themselves, their customers, and their companies succeed. Designed for working professionals who must mix continuing education with work, family, and other responsibilities, participants in the course can access content at their convenience on their computers, tablets, and mobile devices.

The foundation of the twelve weekly modules are dozens of high-definition video lessons featuring leaders in precision agriculture, along with supplemental reading, graphics, glossaries, and tests. Participants will want to plan on one to two hours of study each week. Through the combination of teaching techniques, this course connects with all learning styles and was specifically designed to meet the needs of off-campus learners. Course graduates receive certificates of completion as well as continuing education units for Certified Crop Advisers.


Nutrient Management

Announcing January 2017 release

Overview and Syllabus​ (Draft)

Agricultural nutrient applications are associated with some of today’s most concerning environmental issues, including impacts on water quality and contributions to greenhouse gases. In addition, crop nutrient expenses are second only to land costs as an overall expense for farmers. Managing nutrients is one of the more complicated aspects of producing crops, as considerations vary by nutrient source, placement, timing, the rate of application, and are dramatically affected by the weather. Professionals in many areas of agriculture depend upon understanding soil chemistry and how nutrient management can increase the health and bounty of crop production. Knowledge of nutrients and their management can allow individuals involved in better setting strategies and improving recommendations.

Topics will include the elements essential for crop production; soil pH and soil amendments, how soils supply nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients; nutrient transformations and movement in the soil and water; quantifying nutrient needs and availability; modifying crop nutrient amounts through the use of fertilizers and manures, supplying crop nutrients from the correct source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place, and the many differences that occur amongst soil situations, weather, and cropping systems. Whether you are personally involved in production agriculture, advising farmers as an agricultural retailer or consultant, a representative for an agricultural business or government agency, or just looking to build your expertise, this course will cover topics that should be of direct interest to you.

Nutrient Management is a 12-week fully online course that provides advanced knowledge from which practitioners can help their customers benefit and their companies succeed. Designed for working professionals who have a basic understanding of agronomy and want to expand their knowledge of nutrient application and management. Participants in the course can access content at their convenience on their computers, tablets, and mobile devices. The foundation of the lessons are dozens of high-definition videos featuring the leaders in nutrient management, along with supplemental reading, graphics, glossaries, and tests. Course graduates receive certificates of completion as well as continuing education units for Certified Crop Advisers.​