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Agronomy Feeds the World - Teacher's Guide

By plantingscience

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Premise: One in nine people in the world are hungry, and as the population expands to 9 billion by 2050, food production must rapidly rise to the challenge to reduce hunger. Although food is a basic need for mankind, fewer citizens today are aware of the process of food production and its complexities than they were 30 years ago. Most students may not recognize the term ‘agronomy.’ Agronomy is a foundation of society because plant production is the basis for all food and feed for animals, in addition to fiber for textiles, fuel for industry, and many medicines. Agronomy is multidisciplinary and from the field to the table food production is impacted by the type of farm, transportation, health, economics, policy, and environment. A key science aspect of agronomy is the intersection with the environment and management decisions that farmers make to safely and efficiently produce food for the world. Understanding that agronomy is a biological system and the intricacies inherent to food production are foundational to understanding that crop production is impacted by ecoregions and management decisions. Critical thinking is fundamental to applying knowledge of biology, plant science, and agronomy to practical decision making about food production.

  1. To understand what an ecoregion is and how crop production is impacted by ecoregions

  2. Understand the roles of soils and nutrients and how they affect plant growth

  3. Understand how plant stresses affect plant growth and management decisions

  4. Understand the various decisions that have to be made from field to table.

  5. Understand management practices used in particular ecoregions.

  6. Demonstrate critical thinking by applying knowledge acquired to a practical real-world situation.

This module was created in collaboration with the American Society of Agronomy, and we recommend using their textbook, Agronomy - Grow with It!along with this module.

As part of this module, teachers can lead students in investigations on growing plants in space or on Mars or in or near frack wastewater. PlantingScience has lined up experts on these topics to support these investigations, and some of those resources are included here.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • plantingscience (2016), "Agronomy Feeds the World - Teacher's Guide,"

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NSF_Logo.jpg This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant #2010556 and #1502892. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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