Crop Management as a course is the study of the group of agricultural practices used to improve the growth, development, and yield of agricultural crops. The combination, timing, and sequence of the practices used depend on the biological characteristics of the crops (whether winter or spring crops), the harvested form (grains, green feed, and so on), the sowing methods (row, nest, or wide-row), the age of the plants, and the soil, climatic, and weather conditions.
Scope of Crop Management
It concentrates on the study of individual crop hence, crop management covers the aspects like efficiency of crop, kind of crops to be grown. Crop management begins with the sowing of seeds, continues with crop maintenance during growth and development, and ends with crop harvest, storage, and distribution.
Crop managers oversee crop production on small and large farms. Managers assess soil to determine quality and then choose the appropriate preparation methods, including quantity and quality of fertilizers. These professionals may then direct tilling, planting, irrigation and pesticide application.
Throughout the cultivation period, managers monitor weather patterns, use disease prevention measures and counteract adverse weather conditions. Once the crop is mature, managers direct marketing, harvesting and storage. Other duties include inspecting equipment, instituting safety measures and determining financial loss due to weather or pest damage.
Importance of Crop Management
- Good knowledge of crop enhances productivity and also enlightens the manager on
- Improving productivity of field and forage crops.
- Ensuring sound use of natural resources, reducing soil erosion, and improving soil quality.
- Implementing newly developed and tested methods that improve soil on both conventional and organic farms.
- Appropriate crop genotypes for satisfactory yield under existing and predicted saline conditions.
- Appropriate planting procedures to minimize salinity near the vicinity of seed.
- Maintaining soil water at relatively high levels for plant growth.
- Appropriate soil management such as tillage, ploughing, sanding, and chemical amendments, mineral fertilizers, organic manures, and mulching to improve soil organic matter and increased soil percolation.
- An efficient water distribution system and irrigation scheduling.
Educational Requirements for Crop Management Careers
Aspirants must have a bachelor's degree in agricultural fields to become a crop manager. An advanced degree in crop management is desirable for people interested in obtaining research positions, and a master or doctoral degree is general requirement for a lecturing job in higher institutions.
The crop manager supervises every aspect of crop production, from doing manual labor to handling administrative and business duties. Crop managers need on-the-job experience and training, though they may choose to complete an associate or bachelor's degree program to bolster their job expertise.
Skills and Competencies Required for Crop management Careers
- Employability and safety skills
- Land preparation
- Fertilizing and seeding
- Good knowledge of crop
- Crop care
- Harvest, handle and store forage crops
- Grain crop harvesting
- Operating and servicing equipment and facilities
- People management
- Good communication
- Analytical skills
- Commercial awareness
- IT skills
- The ability to apply technical knowledge of the environment and legislation/public policy matters in a practical environment
- Marketing and sales skills
- Teamwork and leadership
- Paying attention to details
- Problem solving skills
Career Opportunities for Crop Management Graduates
As a graduate of crop management, you will work in mainly agriculture and agro related sector. You can also working in the education field or government sector. Below are some of the job opportunities for crop management graduates:
- Crop manager
- Seed production operations manager
- Crop consult
- Crop analyst
- Crop nutrients risk consultant
- Research scientist
- Field researcher
- Agric Extension worker
- Crop production planning manager
- Agricultural crop farm managers
- Farm owner/ independent grower
- Farm manager