Agronomy

10 secrets to an agronomist's success

CHS Agronomist Angie Pulkrabek-Moen walking in a field

CHS Agronomist Angie Pulkrabek-Moen of CHS AgServices.

Jun 01, 2020

Agronomists live for the growing season and it’s more like a marathon than a sprint. From helping with soil management to making crop protection recommendations, today’s “crop doctors” get the job done with a mixture of high- and low-tech tools, a dose of prevention and plenty of good humor. Here are 10 insights into an agronomist’s day:

1. Set the alarm 
Sleep deprivation during planting season is non-negotiable. A good agronomist tries to beat the early bird to the first field of the day. 

2. No time for fashion 
Spending hours under the sun in short sleeves means one thing: a farmer’s tan. Sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses are no-brainers.

3. The AC is always on 
After spending hours in the heat, an ice-cold air conditioned cab is a welcome reward.

4. Lip balm is a must 
To battle the effects of dehydration and sunburned lips, lip balm (preferably with SPF) is essential. If only someone could invent lip balm that doesn’t melt in the truck.

5. Cue the chiropractor 
Digging holes and taking population counts requires plenty of bending  and can lead to a sore back. On the bright side, agronomists get to play in the dirt all day.   

6. Who needs a placemat? 
Sack lunches are a delicacy, but food on the road is the reality. From convenience store food to drive-thru lanes, agronomists are used to eating in their trucks.

7. One eye on the thermometer 
After an unexpected snow or temperature drop, agronomists worry about newly planted fields and the helpless seeds trying their best to germinate. 

8. Is there something on your lip? 
Dirt-staches are a reality for agronomists. For men, growing a real mustache is the best way to combat the effects. Women just have to accept them as a job hazard. 

9. You can never have too much water 
Thirst is a job hazard for agronomists and they like to keep their customers hydrated, too. Most mornings start with stocking heavy-duty coolers with multiple bottles of water and the day’s ration of ice.

10. Settle in for the drive 
Here’s a common scenario for an agronomist: There’s one stop left on the day’s list and it’s a farm an hour away. Investing in a quality stereo and building playlists pay off big time on those long treks.