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agronomy (əgrŏnˈəmē) [key], branch of agriculture dealing with various physical and biological factors—including soil management, tillage, crop rotation, breeding, weed control, and climate—related to crop production. Agronomy commonly refers to field crops, e.g. wheat, rice, corn, sorghum, soybean, cotton, as well as pasture, sugar, and forage crops; while horticulture is concerned with fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants; silviculture, or forestry, with forest trees; and agroforestry, with mixtures of trees with other crops.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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