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Description

Agricultural science is a broad multidisciplinary field of biology that encompasses the parts of exact, natural, economic and social sciences that are used in the practice and understanding of agriculture. (Veterinary science, but not animal science, is often excluded from the definition.)

The three terms are often confused. However, they cover different concepts:
• Agriculture is the set of activities that transform the environment for the production of animals and plants for human use. Agriculture concerns techniques, including the application of agronomic research.

 

• Agronomy is research and development related to studying and improving plant-based crops.
Agricultural sciences include research and development on:
• Plant Breeding and Genetics
• Plant Pathology
• Horticulture
• Soil Science
• Entomology
• Production techniques (e.g., irrigation management, recommended nitrogen inputs)
• Improving agricultural productivity in terms of quantity and quality (e.g., selection of drought-resistant crops and animals, development of new pesticides, yield-sensing technologies, simulation models of crop growth, in-vitro cell culture techniques)
• Minimizing the effects of pests (weeds, insects, pathogens, nematodes) on crop or animal production systems.
• Transformation of primary products into end-consumer products (e.g., production, preservation, and packaging of dairy products)
• Prevention and correction of adverse environmental effects (e.g., soil degradation, waste management, bioremediation)
• Theoretical production ecology, relating to crop production modeling
• Traditional agricultural systems, sometimes termed subsistence agriculture, which feed most of the poorest people in the world. These systems are of interest as they sometimes retain a level of integration with natural ecological systems greater than that of industrial agriculture, which may be more sustainable than some modern agricultural systems.
• Food production and demand on a global basis, with special attention paid to the major producers, such as China, India, Brazil, the US and the EU.
• Various sciences relating to agricultural resources and the environment (e.g. soil science, agro-climatology); biology of agricultural crops and animals (e.g. crop science, animal science and their included sciences, e.g. ruminant nutrition, farm animal welfare); such fields as agricultural economics and rural sociology; various disciplines encompassed in agricultural engineering.

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