The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) has launched a new online graduate certificate program for agricultural professionals.
“The certificate program is called Fertilizer Science and Technology, offered completely online at the student’s pace and oriented to growers, consultants, suppliers and regulators,” says Kelly Morgan, UF/IFAS professor of soil fertility and water management.
The certificate is offered through the UF/IFAS Department of Soil, Water and Ecosystem Sciences and is geared toward those with an interest in nutrient management. Topics covered include:
- Soil nutrient interactions
- Irrigation effects of nutrient leaching
- Improved interpretation of soil test-based fertilizer recommendations
- Technology-based fertilizer formulations to reduce environmental impacts of agriculture
Increasing unpredictability in precipitation patterns and other environmental factors often lead to modifications of prior crop management practices. Fertilizers and application methods themselves have changed during the past few decades. Integrating new fertilizer technology can be used to improve nutrient uptake efficiency to provide adequate fertilizer nutrients and protect the environment. Keeping up with new knowledge in this area will benefit agriculture and the environment as well.
The UF/IFAS Fertilizer Science and Technology Graduate Certificate requires 12 credit hours and takes 12 to 18 months to complete, depending on the student’s chosen schedule.
Students that possess a bachelor’s degree can apply for the program. It requires four courses to complete. The three required courses include 1) environmental nutrient management, 2) soil nutrient diagnostics for ag production and 3) fertilizer technology, production and use. Students will earn three credits for each of those courses.
Those enrolled in the program must also choose one of the following three-credit electives:
- Environmental soil, water and land use
- Soil quality
- Environmental crop nutrition
- Nutrition of horticultural crops
If desired, the certificate can be rolled into a Master of Science degree at a later date.
Get more information on the certificate program here.