Agribusiness, Horticulture & Fishing
Agricultural advisers advise farmers and agricultural businesses on matters of production, processing and distribution of farm products.
What does an Agricultural Adviser do?
Agricultural advisers assist and advise farmers and agricultural businesses on a broad range of matters related to production, processing and distribution of farm products. They may specialise in areas such as techniques for increased productivity, water use, farm economics or land management.
As an agricultural adviser, you might:
- collect and analyse data and samples of produce, animal feed, soil, water and other elements affecting production
- advise farmers on techniques for increasing the yield and production of crops and livestock, and diversified agricultural options
- inform farmers on areas including livestock and crop health, pest control, crop rotation and soil improvement, and animal husbandry
- advise on environmental factors affecting commercial crop yield, breeding programs and pasture growth
- analyse the impact of cultivation techniques, soil nutrients, insects and plant diseases on livestock and crop production
- create and implement appropriate management action plans to cope with the impact of natural disasters such as fires, floods and droughts, or soil erosion, insect pests and diseases
Key skills and interests
To become an agricultural adviser, you would need:
- strong analytical skills
- an interest in science and the environment
- able to make accurate observations
- the ability to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems
- good oral and written communication skills
- good organisational skills
- good teamwork skills.
Working hours and conditions
As an agricultural adviser, you would usually work a standard number of hours per week. If you were self-employed, you might work hours to suit both you and your clients.
Agricultural advisers work for government bodies, specialist consultancies, or as self-employed consultants.You would work in an office analysing and writing reports, with site visits to processing plants, farms and rural business operations. You may be required to travel nationally, and perhaps also internationally.
How to become an Agricultural Adviser?
Entry Level Education
To become an agricultural adviser you usually have to complete a degree in agricultural science, or a science degree with a major in agriculture-related studies. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics and agricultural science would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Graduates of agricultural science or a related discipline may apply to become members of Ag Institute Australia.
Employment of agricultural scientists and advisers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
The global increase in population, biosecurity concerns, the growing demand for natural resources particularly water, as well as changes in climate and weather patterns, and additional demand for new food products, will lead companies to continue to look for improvements in agricultural efficiency and sustainability.
Agricultural advisers will be well positioned to assist farmers and agricultural companies looking for efficiencies in production and business management.