AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING

Agricultural engineering is the engineering of agricultural production and processing. Agricultural engineering combines the disciplines of mechanical, civil, electrical, Food science and chemical engineering principles with a knowledge of agricultural principles according to technological principles. A key goal of this discipline is to improve the efficacy and sustainability of agricultural practices.

Agriculture Engineer is an engineer who specializes in the design, development, and installation of agricultural and forestry machinery and advises on rural development and the management of natural resources

Agricultural engineers may perform tasks as planning, supervising and managing the building of dairy effluent schemes, irrigation, drainage, flood and water control systems, perform environmental impact assessments, agricultural product processing and interpret research results and implement relevant practices. A large percentage of agricultural engineers work in academia or for government agencies such as the United States Department of Agriculture or state agricultural extension services. Some are consultants, employed by private engineering firms, while others work in industry, for manufacturers of agricultural machinery, equipment, processing technology, and structures for housing livestock and storing crops. Agricultural engineers work in production, sales, management, research and development, or applied science.

In the United Kingdom the term Agricultural Engineer is often also used to describe a person that repairs or modifies agricultural equipment.  Some of the specialties of agricultural engineers include:

  • design of agricultural machinery, equipment, and agricultural structures
  • internal combustion engines as applied to agricultural machinery
  • agricultural resource management (including land use and water use)
  • water management, conservation, and storage for crop irrigation and livestock production
  • surveying and land profiling
  • climatology and atmospheric science
  • soil management and conservation, including erosion and erosion control
  • seeding, tillage, harvesting, and processing of crops
  • livestock production, including poultry, fish, and dairy animals
  • waste management, including animal waste, agricultural residues, and fertilizer runoff
  • food engineering and the processing of agricultural products
  • basic principles of circuit analysis, as applied to electrical motors
  • physical and chemical properties of materials used in, or produced by, agricultural production
  • bioresource engineering, which uses machines on the molecular level to help the environment.
  • Design of experiments related to crop and animal production

History: The first curriculum in Agricultural Engineering was established at Iowa State University by J. B. Davidson in 1905. The American Society of Agricultural Engineers, now known as the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, was founded in 1907.