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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn about commercial crop production.

  • Learn about the biological and physical factors related to crop production, such as crop physiology, plant breeding, pest control, soil science and management, crop rotation and tillage.
  • Study to improve your career prospects for working in agronomy or including  agronomic practices in your existing work.
  • This course is listed on the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) Capacity Building Marketing Place). 



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Learn about Agronomic Practices - apply valuable knowledge in crop production.

Agronomy can be broadly defined as the practice and study of field crops for use as human food, animal feed, fibre, oilseed production and some industrial products.

  • Learn the principles and practices that underpin commercial broad acre crop production (agronomy).
  • Develop an ability to interpret and apply information practically, on a farm.
  • Complement your farming studies or experience and seek employment in this highly sought after field.
  • This course is listed on the UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) Capacity Building Marketing Place). 



Course Duration: 100 hours.

Start Date: Start at any time - study at a pace that suits you, and with full tutor support for the duration of your studies.

Lessons: The course comprises 8 lessons as outlined, below.

Lesson 1. Introduction To Agronomic Practices

  • Introduction.
  • Crop Types.
  • Plant Structure and Function.
  • Transpiration Rate.
  • Selection Criteria for Plants.
  • Understanding Monoculture.
  • Row Crops.
  • Cover Crops.
  • Crop Operations.
  • Planter Types.

Lesson 2. Culture - What Influences Crop Growth

  • Soils.
  • Problems with Soils.
  • Loss of Soil Problems.
  • Erosion.
  • Salinity.
  • Soil Sodicity.
  • Soil Acidity and Alkalinity.
  • Improving Soils.
  • Cultivation Techniques.
  • Plant Nutrition.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies.
  • Organic Fertilisers.
  • Soil Life.
  • Insect Pests.
  • Diseases.

Lesson 3. Crop Husbandry Practices

  • Operations.
  • Identifying Weeds.
  • Ways to Control Weeds.
  • Spraying.
  • Irrigation.
  • Chemical Crop Protection.
  • Preparing Plant Pathogens for Microscopic Observation.
  • Culturing Pathogens.
  • Natural Pest and Disease Control.
  • Physical Controls.
  • Organic Sprays and Dusts.

Lesson 4. Seed And Seed Management

  • Seed Storage
  • Types of Seed Storage.
  • Seed Vigour Testing.
  • Dormancy Factors Affecting Germination.
  • Germination Treatments.
  • Types of Media.
  • Media Derived from Rock or Stone.
  • Media Derived from Synthetic Materials.
  • Organic Media.
  • Diseases.
  • Salinity Build Up.

Lesson 5. Arable Cereal Crops

  • Cereal Crops.
  • Zadock Scale.
  • Wheat.
  • Barley.
  • Oats.
  • Triticale.
  • Sorghum.
  • Maize.
  • Rice.
  • Millet.
  • Sugar Cane.
  • Ryegrass.
  • Hay and Silage.
  • Quality Control.
  • Storage and Handling.
  • Hydroponic Fodder.

Lesson 6. Arable Broadleaf Crops

  • Characteristics of Broadleaf Crops.
  • Oil Crops.
  • Chickpeas.
  • Narrow-leafed Lupins.
  • Canola.
  • Faba Beans.
  • Cover Crops.
  • Common Legumes.

Lesson 7. Harvesting

  • Crop Preparation for Harvest.
  • Crop Harvest Equipment.
  • Forage Harvesting Equipment.
  • Cereal Harvesting Equipment.
  • Root Crop Harvesting Equipment.
  • Grain Storage.
  • Contract Harvesting.

Lesson 8. Crop Management - Special Project

  • Crop Management from planting to post harvest handling.



Here are just some of the things you will be doing:

  • Go to your local department of primary industries (or equivalent), collect cropping guides on crops grown locally in your area. Ensure your information includes broadleaf, legume and grass (cereal crops). Collect fodder crop information also and find out what the main fodder crops are in your area.
  • Obtain pictures of the seed and mid season crop and mature crop. Become familiar with agronomic terms and start a glossary, use library, text and internet searches to complete this task.
  • Having looked at what crops are grown in your region, now look at the soil types.
  • What type of soil is common to your region. What are the main features to these soils. That is, what colour is the soil, what texture is it, does it have a high sand or clay content, does the soil drain well, or waterlog? How did this soil form? Write these down as a reference.
  • Collect photos of the various planting, cultivating and harvesting equipment used in your country and write brief notes on when and where you would use which machine and for which crop. Do this for a maximum of 5 pieces of equipment.
  • Collect samples of your own seed (for 4 different crops), from a local farmer or produce store.
  • Perform your own germination test using the cotton wool method.
    Take photos on day 2, and the final day.
    Record the number of seed germinating per day, and then the total number on the final day.
  • Develop a management plan for a crop from planting through to post harvest handling.



  • Develop your understanding and confidently describe the nature and scope of agronomic practices within your country and others.
  • Discuss what is grown, where it is grown and the diversity of practices used to grow a wide range of crops.
  • Learn how to identify factors that affect the success of a crop; including soil condition, climate factors and biological influences such as pests and diseases.
  • Clearly describe significant practices used by farmers in the growing of an agronomic crop; including the management of soils, water, cultivations and crop protection.
  • Explain how to achieve successful seed germination for different agronomic crops under different conditions in the field.
  • Discuss practices used to farm cereals for harvest and sale as cash crops.
  • Discuss practices used to farm broadleaf crops for harvest and sale as cash crops.
  • Understand the use of different harvesting equipment and techniques including post harvest handling for a range of different crops.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge by producing a management plan for a crop from planting to post harvest handling.



The Agronomy online course is studied by distance learning, so you can study in the comfort of your own home. But this doesn't mean you are all alone in your studies.  Our highly qualified and friendly tutors are there to help you every step of the way.  If you have any questions at all, they are always happy to help.

Each lesson includes set tasks, and is completed with an assignment which the student submits to their course tutor.  The tutor will mark the assignment and return this to the student with comments and suggestions for further reading.



  • Quality - Our courses are written and taught by experienced professionals, so you know you can expect a high quality of teaching and support.
  • Flexibility - Study at your own pace and fit your studies around your own busy lifestyle - we provide full tutor support for all the time you are studying.



Please, contact us today - use our FREE COURSE COUNSELLING SERVICE to get in touch with our specialist Agriculture  tutors. Choosing the right course is important and they are there to help and advise you on the making the right choice.

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Meet some of our academics

Marie Beerman B.Sc.,M.Hort.Marie has been involved in horticulture since 2003. She completed a Masters degree in Horticulture at Hannover University in Germany in 2007, and has worked with ACS since 2011 She has co-authored of several ebooks including one on Roses and has a very sound knowledge and experience with horticultural science and research ranging from plant taxonomy and plant breeding to pest, disease and soil management.,
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole (Horticulturist)Horticulturist, Permaculturist, Landscaper, Environmentalist. Holds a Diploma in Horticulture, degree in geography, permaculture certificate and various other qualifications. Between 1985 and 94, Diana was a task leader with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers. Since 2001 she has been chairperson of the Friends of Mellor Park (with Stockport MDC). From 2005 she has worked exclusively in horticulture as proprietor of her own garden design and consultancy business in and around Derbyshire; and at the same time as part time manager of a small garden centre. Diana has been an enthusiastic and very knowledgeable tutor with ACS since 2008.
Yvonne Sharpe (Horticulturist)Started gardening in 1966, studied a series of horticulture qualifications throughout the 1980's and 90's, culminating in an RHS Master of Horticulture. Between 89 and 1994, she worked teaching in horticultural therapy. Founded the West Herts Garden Association in 1990 and exhibited at Chelsea Flower Show in 1991. In 1994, Yvonne joined the staff at Oaklands College, and between 1996 and 2000 was coordinator for all Amenity Horticulture courses at that college. Since leaving Oakland she has been active as a horticultural consultant, retail garden centre proprietor and sessional lecturer (across many colleges in southern England). In 2000, she also completed a Diploma in Management.

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Fruit, Vegetables and HerbsThe Fruit, Vegetables and Herbs ebook is ideal for students, professionals and home gardening enthusiasts alike. Fruit, Vegetable and Herbs provides an overview in techniques to produce food in the garden. Topics covered within this course include 1/ Food from the garden, 2/ Deciding what to grow, 3/ Successful growing, 4/ Fruits, 4-1/ Deciduous fruit trees, 4-2/ Citrus fruits, 4-3/ Tropical fruits, 4-4/ Berries, 4-5/ Nuts, 4-6/ Vine crops, 4-7/ Using produce, 5/ Vegetables, 6/ Mushrooms, 7/ Special growing techniques