The Crop Science ( science of plant cultivation ) is the educational and research area of the production of agricultural crops.

For terminology

The name of Crop Science was established in the mid-20th century in connection with the scientific nature of many names discipline at universities. According to this modern terminology Crop Science is the comprehensive term for the agricultural and horticultural crop production or for the synonymous use traditional discipline designations cropland, crop production and horticulture.

From the methodology and the task fields when seen, Horticulture, orchards, vineyards, ornamental plants, vegetation management, forestry, tropical crop cultivation and other specialized disciplines are also Crop Sciences. Most of these subjects, however, have developed into independent sub - Agronomy and often their traditional technical terms supplemented by the epithet "science" (eg orchards Science, Grassland Science ).

Research tasks

The main task of the agricultural crop production is to produce quantitatively and qualitatively optimal yields of food and raw materials, while maintaining soil fertility of cultivated land or improve. In recent decades, questions of ecosystem research and environmental protection are more to the fore.

Crop research is primarily carried out by scientific methods of field research. Experimental fields or sub- areas of an agricultural region are the real laboratories for crop scientists. The crop as a scientific discipline comprises two sections: Agronomy and Crop Special.

The General crop production includes the entire area of agriculture, ie, the location science, soil fertility, climate, weather, land use systems, crop rotation, tillage, fertilization, weed control, disease, pest control, cultivation and harvesting methods in their effects on the yield of crops grown.

In particular, the actual crop cultivation practices of crops are the subject of scientific studies.

Currently, the crop research is in transition. The Crop Science as a multidisciplinary integrative Subject turns to new priorities. Examples of current research are the quantification of material and energy flows in farming systems, the use of sensor-controlled agricultural machinery in the care of cultivated plants, biomass potentials and their potential uses, the development of remote sensing methods, the effects of plant cultivation measures in groundwater protection areas, Nutrient losses in agricultural operations and the optimization of environmentally sound cultivation and management systems.

History of the discipline

The Early History of Crop Science is embedded in the history of the country economics. 1727 had the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm I leave at the universities of Frankfurt / Oder and in Halle / Saale chairs set up for Kameralwissenschaft. The aim of the Kameralstudiums offered there should be to train professionally qualified civil servants. Among the subjects included the agricultural colleges.

The authoritative pioneered the development of plant cultivation to a university discipline was teaching at the University of Göttingen Kameralwissenschaftler Johann Beckmann. He has introduced in 1767 the word Plant Production in the German literary language. Previously, only the terms agriculture, arable farming or farming have been used for this part of the country economics. However, crop production was just a school subject in Kameralstudium. Crop research on an experimental basis was not then carried out at universities.

Only Albrecht Daniel Thaer changed after 1800 with his new edifice of rational land economics research these quiet periods. Following his example, agricultural academies were established in many parts of Germany and performed in the connected there Gutswirtschaften field trials. With the acquisition of scientific knowledge and methods of crop production became more and more an experimental discipline. In 1840 certain mainly propagated by Carl Sprengel and Justus von Liebig fertilization of the crop plants with mineral nutrients and the resulting fertilization experiments content and methodology of plant cultivation research.

The establishment of agricultural university institutes in the last third of the 19th century strengthened the position of the subject in plant cultivation system of agricultural science. Due to the strong increase in knowledge, however, took place in the following decades, a subject-specific breakdown of traditional teaching areas. After the end of World War I arose at the universities of independent chairs and institutes of Agronomy. Previously belonging to this field subregions, especially plant breeding began to become independent.

This tendency of specialization continued after the Second World War in rapid continuous manner. From the mother discipline crop is further sub divisions developed into independent disciplines daughter with appropriate teaching and research institutions. In the agricultural study a field of study " plant production " was born. Depending on the study are represented there in addition to the agricultural crop as the main subject areas: plant breeding, plant nutrition, the Phytomedicine, agricultural soil science, the Department of Grassland Management ( today: Grassland Science ) and for the last two decades, organic agriculture. Within these fanned " discipline family " is in the agricultural studies become a specialist among many traditional science of plant cultivation.

Recent developments

The Crop Science, once ecological model discipline within the Agricultural Sciences, has suffered significant loss of function in the last decades. In addition to the decline in importance in the agricultural scientific studies must be added that of the most skilled representatives in the 1980s, the idea of organic farming has been taken up only very slowly. Therefore, many core competence fields of plant cultivation of newly created research facilities of organic farming and other environment-related areas are currently being perceived. Numerous vacant chairs of crop have not been filled. Most crop - Institute at the Agricultural Science faculties were (for example, in the Department of Crop Sciences ) integrated in recent years, newly created in larger administrative units.

Within the professional society of plant cultivation, which was founded in 1956 " Society of Agronomy ", has been discussed over the last decade repeatedly over the basic self- understanding, as well as on the goals and tasks of the discipline. An overview of the current problems in research and teaching under the changing conditions gives a 2001 position paper by the title status and future of Crop Sciences at the Universities.

Textbooks and manuals

Textbooks and manuals provide the best overview of content and systematics of a scientific discipline. However, older standard works of crop production are not only documents the history of science of the field, they also give after decades still Suggestions for current research and teaching. Since agronomic insights are often gained only through years of field trials, the half-life horticultural knowledge is relatively high. Among the outstanding, published since the mid- 20th century German teaching and manuals of Crop Science include the following:

  • Ernst folding: Textbook of arable land and plant cultivation. Verlag Paul Parey Berlin 1941, 2nd edition 1944, 3rd edition 1951, 4th edition 1954, 5th edition 1958, 6th edition 1967.
  • Crop teaching. Edited by Arnold disc. Handbook of Agriculture 2nd Edition, Vol 2 Verlag Paul Parey Berlin 1953.
  • Erich Rübensam and Kurt Rough: agriculture. VEB German Agriculture Verlag Berlin 1964, 2nd edition 1968.
  • Manfred Seiffert: Agricultural crop production. VEB German Agriculture Verlag Berlin 1964, 2nd edition 1968.
  • Rudolf Koblet: The agricultural crop production with special reference to Swiss conditions. Birkhauser Verlag Basel and Stuttgart, 1965.
  • Kord Baeumer: Agronomy. Eugen Ulmer Verlag Stuttgart 1971, 2nd edition 1978, 3rd revised and expanded edition 1992 = UTB Paperback Vol 18
  • Walther Brouwer: Handbook of particular plant cultivation. Verlag Paul Parey Berlin and Hamburg Vol 1 1972, Vol 2 1976.
  • Gerhard Fischbeck, Klaus -Ulrich Heyland and Norbert Knauer: Special crop. Eugen Ulmer Verlag Stuttgart, 1975, 2nd edition 1982, 3rd revised and expanded edition with Wulf Diepenbrock as first 1999 = UTB Paperback Vol 111
  • Gerhard Geisler: Crop. A textbook - Biological Principles and techniques of plant production. Verlag Paul Parey Berlin and Hamburg in 1980, 2nd revised and enlarged edition 1988.
  • Handbook of plant cultivation. Editor of the complete works: Ernst Robert Keller, Herbert Hanus and Klaus -Ulrich Heyland. Eugen Ulmer Verlag Stuttgart. Vol 1: Basics of agricultural plant production in 1997; Vol 2: cereals and forage grasses 2008; Vol 3: tuber and root crops, grains and legumes in 1999; Vol 4: oil crops, fiber crops, medicinal plants and specialty crops in 2006.
  • Textbook of plant cultivation. Edited by Norbert Liitke Entrup and Jobst Oehmichen. Vol 1: Fundamentals; Vol 2: crops. Verlag Th man Gelsenkirchen 2000.
  • Wulf Diepenbrock, Frank Ellmer and Jens Léon: Agriculture, Agronomy and Plant Breeding. UTB Vol 2629 - Basic Information bachelor. Eugen Ulmer Verlag 2005.