Crop Advisers

A certified crop adviser (CCA) is an industry professional who provides advice and recommendations to agricultural industry professionals. Their objective is to guide industry professionals in their decision making and planning process to improve current practices, and inform them of the best crops to grow for maximum yield. Crop advisers are required to have knowledge in four main categories: nutrient management,soil and water management, pest management, and crop management. It is a crop adviser’s duty to follow emerging technologies and practices in the industry in order to provide quality advice.

Crop advisers work with growers to plan and implement strategies for resource efficiency and cost reduction. CCAs typically work on site and in office depending on the task while adjusting their hours around the client’s needs. Due to continual advancements in technologies and practices, agricultural professionals look to CCAs for their expertise as they typically do not have the time or insight to handle all the tasks a CCA can perform effectively. They are self-managed by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), and are required to abide by the CCA Code of Ethics.

Some tasks a crop adviser deals with include:

  • •  Soil testing
  • •  Water efficiency and irrigation methods
  • •  Collecting and analyzing data
  • •  Planning and implementing pest/disease controls
  • •  Reporting
  • •  Improving livestock management
  • •  Learning new technology advancements and changes in legislation
  • •  Presentations and demonstrations
  • •  Efficient resource use and farming practices

Becoming a Certified Crop Adviser

CCA candidates must first have a minimum of four years of experience. This can be a high school diploma and four years of advisory experience, a college diploma and three years of experience or a university degree and two years of advisory experience. Once a candidate has obtained the minimum requirement, they must pass a national and state/provincial exam focused on the four main knowledge categories. After passing the exams, a candidate must sign and honor the CCA Code of Ethics and maintain 40 hours of relevant continuing education every two years. Becoming a certified crop adviser is voluntary and helps to further an individual’s career.

Selecting the Right CCA

Choosing a CCA can be a costly investment, so it is important to select the right one. First, it is critical to know which services are required from the CCA. Anyone looking to hire a CCA should make a list of potential candidates with references to examine past experience and quality of work. The right CCA will have knowledge and experience with the types of crops the grower is producing, as well as with land in the general area. The grower should understand the CCA’s fee structure and service offering before making a decision. Another important consideration is the CCA’s views on input management, yield goals, and cropping methods. This is very important since the grower needs to be comfortable with their methods and advice to maintain a strong relationship.