About the Department
The Department of Agronomy provides statewide leadership in teaching, research, and extension in crop, soil, and range sciences. Weed science, crop breeding, climatology, and protecting soil and water resources are also important components of the departmental mission. Advances in these sciences have major impact on transforming the bounty of the natural resources of Kansas into the present standard of living enjoyed by its people.
Agriculture is of preeminent importance to the economy of Kansas. Responsibilities of the department relate directly to the production inputs of 65,000 farms on 47.5 million acres of cropland and rangeland in the state. Many research and extension activities are conducted cooperatively with faculty at outlying research centers, in other Departments in the College of Agriculture, other Colleges at Kansas State University, and with colleagues and organizations beyond Kansas.
Agronomists use science and natural resources like soil, water, and plants to sustain the world's food supply and a quality environment. Their challenge is to understand, manage, and protect earth's vital resources while addressing humanity's basic concerns about quality of life. Agronomy is basic to food production and offers an exciting career to those interested in food, feed, and fiber production.
Faculty, Students, & Staff
The department currently has 34 faculty conducting teaching, research, and extension programs, with additional adjunct faculty members with USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)/ARS (Agricultural Research Service) or at out state Research or Research-Extension Centers. There are over 70 staff members and assistant scientists who provide clerical, field, laboratory, and greenhouse assistance for our programs. For the Fall 2013 semester, enrollment was 180 undergraduate students and 77 graduate students.
Many of the undergraduates are also employed in the department. Including state and Federal appropriations for salaries and operating expenditures and funds from grants and contracts, the annual Department of Agronomy budget is about $13 million.
The Agronomy Department has excellent classroom, office, laboratory and greenhouse facilities in the Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center. Current space in the Center for Agronomy is 78,655 square feet for office, laboratory, and classroom use, plus 42 greenhouse modules containing 26,250 sq. ft. Excellent field facilities with appropriate equipment are available in the Manhattan area. In Manhattan, the Agronomy Farm (2200 Kimball) and Ashland Bottoms units contain over 1,000 acres of dryland and irrigated cropland.
About a third of the crop acres on the Agronomy Farm is designated as the Agronomy Learning Farm, which is managed and operated primarily by Agronomy students. The Rannell's Flint Hills Prairie units contain 3295 acres dedicated to range research. These facilities support essential hands-on learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate teaching programs, targeted research, professional training activities and Foundation seed production.
Four Agronomy Experiment Fields located throughout eastern and central Kansas are utilized to research specific soil-climate-cropping systems for their respective areas. These experiment fields with properties near Ottawa, Hutchinson, Belleville and Scandia, Rossville and Silver Lake add an additional 1142 acres for research and extension uses.