CREATED BY: Mgs, TEFL Laura Gisella Romero Coronel


Profile of an agronomist 3
Agriculture 4
Branches of Agriculture 4
Organic & Conventional Food 6
Agricultural Machinery 7
Agricultural Plagues 8
Agricultural Product 9
Coffee 10
Soil 11
Taxonomy of Soil 11
Farm Tractor Rollover Prevention 12
Falls from Tractor and Trailing Equipment 12
Tractor Safety 13
General Guidelines for the Agriculture Work
Livestock Handling Safety 14
Pesticide Poisoning 14
Grain storage and handling equipment 16
Safe Use of Hand Tools 17
Personal Protective Equipment 18
Manure pit gas hazard 19
Crop Protection chemical safety 20
Glossary 21


I have done this leaflet with the help of different articles and handouts I found
online to help my students to understand ESP English and agricultural terms
used in the agricultural field and as a practical guide of consult in case of a
problem in their daily work.


Profile of an agronomist
Agronomists facilitate the connection among producers and crop researchers
regarding to new developments in crop varieties, disease and pest control, crop
rotation, and tillage systems to be implemented into farmers growing
Job duties
 Communicate the community the latest methods for controlling disease,
weeds, and insects.
 Advise farmers on cropping practices that will improve their incomes as
well as protect environmental sustainability.
 Evaluate new crop cultivars and their potential in a grower's cropping
 Encourage the use of best management practices for farming techniques
to minimize soil erosion.
 Monitor the effects of soil characteristics, water levels, and water
drainage on plant growth and implement crop management practices in
order to enhance production.
 Work with producers to analyze crop nutrient needs and fertility
 Participate in technology transfer and training activities.
 Evaluate crop performance with management practices.
The agronomist can work in an office doing paper work, participating as a policy
maker or communicating with colleagues or experts in the field. In the field the
agronomist can make presentations to farms and solve problems with


It is the science or art of cultivating the soil, growing and harvesting crops,
and raising livestock.
Types of Farming
Arable farms are ones where the main way of making money is by growing
Livestock farms are where animals and crops are both important part of the
Mixed farms are where animals and crops are both important to the farmer.
Branches of agriculture
Among the branches of agriculture we have: Agronomy, horticulture, silviculture,
apiculture, aquaculture, ranching and forestry.
Agronomy: It is the science and technology of producing and using plants for
food, fuel, feed, fiber and reclamation. Agronomy encompasses work in the
areas of plant genetics, plant physiology, meteorology, and soil science.
Horticulture: It is the science , art, and business involved in intensive plant
cultivation for human use.
Silviculture is the practice of controlling the establishment, growth, composition,
health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values.
Apiculture: It is also known as beekeeping is the maintenance of honey bees
colonies, commonly in hives, by humans.
Aquaculture is also known as aquafarming that is the farming of aquatic
organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and aquatic plants.
Ranching is a method to raise less common livestock such as elk, American
bison. Ostrich, emu and alpacas.
Forestry: It is the science, art, of conserving forests and associated resources in
a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs and values for human
benefit and it is practiced in natural plantations and stands.



What is organic food?
Food grows without synthetic pesticides or artificial fertilizers. The organic
farming is conducted for crop rotations and spread of manure to keep weeds at
Products that are completely organic — such as fruits, vegetables, eggs or
other single-ingredient foods — are labeled 100 percent organic and can carry
the USDA ( The U.S. Department of Agriculture) seal.
It is a production system extremely artificial based on high consumption of
external inputs ( fossil, energy, chemicals, etc) without considering the natural
Among the advantages and disadvantages of organic farming we have

Advantages of Organic Food
 Reduces pollutants in groundwater and creates richer soil that aids plant
growth while reducing erosion.
 The flavor of organic fruit is better because it is a mixture of many
different and complex molecules.
 It increases the soil fertility as a biological process and the nutrients
removed from the crops are replaced.
 Protect Future Generations because numerous studies show that
pesticides can adversely affect the nervous system, increase the risk of
cancer, and decrease fertility.
 Build healthy soil through elevating the antioxidants levels.
 Promotes biodiversity because it respects the animals’ habitats.
 It is required in a number of alternative treatments like cancer therapies
due to the absence of pesticide residues.
Disadvantages of Organic Food
 Traditional fungicides generally kill any toxins creating molds, but organic
farms may be more susceptible to this hazard because such fungicides
are not allowed in organic production.
 Manure and compost are often used to fertilize organic food but this can
increase the risk of fecal contamination of the organic food elevating the
fecal-carried diseases like E. Coli.
 The group of organic farming producers is smaller than the group of
conventional crops producers.


Differences between conventional and organic farming

Conventional Organic
Apply chemical fertilizers to
promote plant growth.
Apply natural fertilizers, such as
manure or compost, to feed soil and
Spray synthetic insecticides to
reduce pests and disease.
Spray pesticides from natural sources;
use beneficial insects and birds,
mating disruption or traps to reduce
pests and disease.
Use synthetic herbicides to manage
Use environmentally-generated plant-
killing compounds; rotate crops, till,
hand weed to manage weeds.
Give animals antibiotics, growth
hormones and medications to
prevent disease and spur growth.
Give animals organic feed and allow
them access to the outdoors. Use
preventive measures — such as
rotational grazing, a balanced diet and
clean housing — to help minimize

Nutritional Value
Organic Crops contained more significantly more vitamin C, iron, magnesium,
and phosphorus and significantly less nitrates than conventional crops. The
recommended daily intake of organic vegetables is 75 mg for women and 90mg
for men.


Agricultural Machinery

It is any kind of machinery used on a farm to help with farming.
Types of Agricultural Machinery
 Traction and Power
 Self Propelled Machinery
 Soil cultivation
 Planting
 Fertilizing and Pest control
 Harvesting/ Post-harvesting
 Hay Making
 Loading
Traction and Power
We have two types in this group: Tractor and Crawler Tractor.
Self Propelled Machinery
We have 8 different types in this category: Bean harvester, beet harvester,
combine harvester, forage harvester, maize harvester, pea harvester, potato
harvester and rape swatter.
Soil Cultivation
We use these machinery for the soil: cultivator, chisel plow, harrow, plough,
power tiller, portavator and spading machine.
We can use a broadcast seeder, plastic mulch layer, potato planter, seed drill,
air seeder, and transplanter.
Fertilizing and Pest Control
We can fertilizer using these: terragator, manure spreader, sprayer, lime
spreader, slurry injector, and vacuum tanker.
Harvesting/ Post-Harvesting
We can harvest with these: potato digger, beet harvester, drum mower, trailer,
grain trailer, bale trailer, vegetable picker.
Hay Making
We can rack the hay using bale grab, baler, conditioner, hay rake, hay tedder,
hay cart, and mower.

We can use these devices: backhoe, front loader, rear loader, skid-steer loader.
Agricultural Plagues
A plague is an animal that produces damage to a crop, to people causing
diseases and economic loss in the agricultural work.
Types of Plagues

The Stem Borer
When the plant is young (spring), the newborn Larvitar feed on the leaves
causing small symmetrical holes and damage the terminal bud (bud) killing the
plant in early stages.
These can be viewed by cutting up the corn. The damage is caused by the
larva. Sometimes adults can be seen in affected plantations and the presence
of these insects are monitored through a trap.
Nematodes are tiny worms that are only found when using a microscope. The
presence of swelling or reddish-brown lesions is an indicator of the presence of

stem borer


Control of Pests
There are three kinds of control: cultural, biological and chemical.
The cultural control is when the agronomist use different techniques to control
the pests. Besides, The biological consists on the use of natural methods such
as the use of natural pests as depredators. Finally, The chemical control is
when we use the pesticides to kill the insects that affect the crops.

Agricultural Products
The coffee

Since 1860 the coffee is cultivated in Ecuador, especially in Jipijapa, which is
the best area for the coffee .
More than 105.137 families are dedicated to the coffee production. Our country
has more than 5 associatives organizations and 53 exporting organizations.
250 million of dollar in coffee were exported in 2011 ( 55% and 45% in
industrialised grain approximately)
Ecuador is one of the largest exporters of dried coffee.
Ecuador has a great production capacity: It is one of the few countries that
export all the varieties of coffee: washed Arabic, natural Arabic and robust. The
different ecosystems of the country give the opportunity to cultivate the coffee in
each part of Ecuador, even in the Galapagos Islands. The location of our
country makes our coffee one of the best in the world and it is very demanded
in Europe. In our country the production of The Arabic coffee begins in March
and ends in October, but the production of Robust coffee begins in February
and ends in November.

The potential Characteristics and benefits of coffee of the area
The coffee surface is 200.000 Ha.
The socio-organization strength ( more than 5 export partner organizations and
53 base organizations)
Exportation: 258 million in 2011 ( nearly 55% coffee industrialised and 45%
coffee in grain.)
Production and target market
The production of Washed Arabic is majority in El Oro, Manabí, Loja. Guayas
and Zamora Chinchipe. Natural Arabic in Loja, Manabí. El Oro, Los Ríos and
Guayas and Robust in Pichincha, Orellana, Sucumbíos and Manabí.
In Ecuador the exportation of coffee during the 2011 was nearly 55.512 Tones.
The ecological importance is manifested in the wide adaptability of coffee to
different agro-ecosystems of Coast, Highlands., the Amazon Region and the
Galapagos Islands.
The social importance relates to generate direct employment for 150.000
families of farmers in activities like trade, agribusiness, craft, instant coffee
industry, transport, and export.
The organization of an important segment of the coffee that forms a broad
social fabric and actively participate in national life, becoming a partner
organizational strength.
Benefits of coffee
Scientifically proven that moderate coffee consumption help to prevent diseases
such as : cancer , diabetes and cirrhosis.
Cancer: Research in Europe, USA and Japan found that people who drink more
than four cups of coffee per day is 24% less likely to develop colorectal cancer
as it inhibits the secretion of bilic acids that are the precursors of this disease.
Diabetes: According to the studies of the university of Helsinki ( Finland) coffee
reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes because theophylline and caffeine are
stimulants of pancreatic cell, which produce insulin the body needs.
Cirrhosis: Research with more than 128.000 adults found that people who take
the same amount of coffee, has 5 times less likely to develop liver cirrhosis or
reduce mortality by 30% if the patient is already sick.



It is the complex system that forms the outermost layer of the earth. At the
boundary between various systems that meet in the earth’s surface.
Sandy soil: do not retain water, have very little organic matter and are not
suitable for agriculture.
Moist soil: They have plenty of organic matter, color dark, retain water and are
excellent for farming.
Clay soil: It consists of fine yellow grains, forms pools and holds water.
Stony soil: It is formed by rocks of all sizes, does not hold water and it is not
good for farming.
Mixed soil: It has intermediate features between sandy and clay soils.
There are two types of soil: organic and mineral soils. In the organic soil we
hake the histosoles where as in the mineral soil is subdivided by inseptisoles,
aridisoles, molisoles, oxisoles and vertisoles.
In the organic soil we have the histosoles that are very light soil, with acid PH
in general and good fertility and productivity.
The inseptisoles are soil of low temperatures, have a high content of organic
matter, poor drainage and amorphous clays accumulate.
The aridisoles are typical desert solid, poor in organic matter and have clear

The molisoles are soil grassland, with dominance of clays and soil of dark
The oxisoles are present 1:1 ratio of clay, soils of low fertility and they are red
and yellow colour, due to the high concentration of iron.
The vertisoles are soils rich in clay, with strong expansion and they are gray or
black colour.

Farm Tractor Rollover Prevention

There are nine steps that tractor operators must follow to avoid overturns
1)Safe operation : the operator tractor must read the operator manual . knows
the equipment and how it handles.
2)Fasten Seat Belts Securely: The seat prevents the tractor operator from being
thrown crushed or receive a severe injury if an upset occurs.
3)Avoid steep slopes: Watch out for bumps on the uphill side. Keep side-
mounted equipment on the uphill side.
4)Reduce Speed: When turning, crossing slopes or on rough, slick or muddy
surfaces reduce speed. A raised front-end loader is more likely to cause a

5)Rules and regulations: A small moving vehicle (SMV) must be visible for a
minimum of 500 ft Attach the SMV emblem to the rear of tower equipment if it
obscures the rear of the tractor.
6)Operate tractor smoothly: Slow down before stopping ot turning when towing
equipment. Sudden high-.speed braking can cause the equipment to jackknife
or roll over . Turn safely by reducing engine speed, applying both brakes if
needed and make a wide turn and allow the engine’s power to pull the load.
7)No riders: Tractors are designed for one operator, no passengers.
8)Hitching: Hitch as low as possible as hitching above the normal drawbar
height may cause the tractor to tip over backward.
9)Parking: If the tractor does not have a parking brake, shift the transmission
lever into the park position. Lower and raised equipment and remove the
ignition key.
Falls from Tractors and Trailing Equipment

Runovers caused by falls from tractors and trailing equipment are one of the
most common forms of unintentional injuries that happen on the farm or ranch.
Falls from machinery can be prevented by adopting these basic practices:

• Wear shoes and boots with slip-resistant soles and heels.
• Keep platforms, foot-plates and steps clear of mud, snow, manure or other
• Before moving, check the tractor and trailing equipment to see that no one has
climbed aboard without your knowledge.
• Remove tools or other items that may cause a tripping hazard from the
operator platform.
• Don't use working farm equipment as a place to baby-sit children. Arrange for
proper childcare.
• Never allow anyone to ride on the drawbar or towed machinery.
• Insist that no one ride on farm equipment except those required for its
operation, instruction, or diagnostics.
• Reduce speed on rough, uneven or hilly ground.
• Watch for obstacles.
• Wait for the tractor to stop before getting off. Set brakes and step down using
handholds or rails.
Tractor Safety

Farm tractors provide the primary source of power on many farms, but it is also
involved in a high proportion of farm fatalities and severe injuries. To avoid

them, follow safe management principles and implement a tractor safety
program on your farm.

• Develop a "safety first" attitude.
• Be physically and mentally fit when operating tractors. Fatigue, stress,
medication, alcohol and drugs can detract from safe tractor operation. Take
• Read operator's manual and warning decals.
• Equip the tractor with a Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) and wear seat
• Inspect the tractor for any hazards and correct them before operating.
• Make sure everyone who operates a tractor has received training and is
physically able to operate it safely.
• Shut down equipment, turn off engine, remove key and wait for moving parts
to stop before dismounting equipment.
• Keep bystanders and others away from tractor operation, especially children.

Livestock Handling Safety
It is important to recognize the symptoms of dangerous animals to avoid injuries or
even the death. Among the symptoms we have to recognize from animals are: raised
or pinned ears, raised tail, raised hair on the back, bare teeth, pawing the ground,
Stiffed-legged gate, snorting and growling.
- Avoid quick movements
-Establish a routine
-keep away children
-be cautious with animals
that are frightened.
- have a route of escape
when working in close
quarters and animals.
- provide special facilities
for male animals.
-well ventilated alleys
Concrete flooring
Good drainage
Alleys and chutes should
be wide enough
Good ventilation
Testing and immunization
of livestock
Sanitary practices to
handle animals

The pesticides are a diverse group of substances with toxic effects. There are
many forms to be intoxicated: by inhalation, dermal exposure, ingestion and
ocular exposure.
The inhalation through dusts, vapor, mists and gases represent a significant
occupational hazard. The absorption through the skin is determined by the
nature of the pesticide. Condition of the exposed skin, and external factors,
such as temperature, duration of exposure and the area exposed. The ingestion
may occur through accidental splashing of chemicals n the face and mouth,

eating contaminated food, using contaminated smoking materials, or by rubbing
the face with contaminated hands or gloves.
The ocular exposure is usually the result of accidental splashing a pesticide
while no wearing eye protection and may cause effects as burns to the eyelids
and conjunctiva


The Organ Phosphates are cholinesterase inhibitors (nerve poisons) and range
in toxicity from mild to acutely toxic. This family of pesticide includes: carbomate
and chlorinated hydrocarbons.
The carbomate are cholinesterase inhibitors that include carbaryl, dimetilan,
landrin, carbofuran and propoxur. The symptoms may include: headaches.
Nervousness, nausea, diarrhea, vision or respiratory difficulties.
The chlorinated hydrocarbons are now banned in the U.S. because they affect
the central nervous system or can depress or stimulate the central nervous
system. This pesticide family includes Aldrin, BHC, Chlordane, DDt, Diedrin,
Heptachlor, Lindane, Mirex and Toxaphene. The symptoms may include:
constricted pupils, fatigue, diarrhea, stomach pain and tightness in the chest.
 Keep airway clear, provide artificial respiration, use oxygen available to
support breathing.

 Decontaminate the victim as indicated by the material safety data sheet.
 If poison was ingested, and the person is not vomiting and is fully
conscious give the person water with 5 percent sodium bicarbonate.
 Consult the insecticide label for active ingredients and specific first-aid

Grain Storage Structures and Handling Equipment

Storage and handling of large volumes of grain or feed on farms is common in
many areas. Farm workers should make sure they take the proper steps to put
safety first to prevent injuries, illnesses and even death like the followings:

• Label grain bins to warn of entrapment hazards.
• Lock entrances to grain handling areas to keep bystanders and children out.
• Install ladders inside bins.
• Do not enter grain bins that are being loaded or unloaded
• If it is necessary to enter a bin, shut off and lockout power before entering. Use
a safety harness and safety line. Have several people available outside the bin
to lift entrant out in case of an emergency.
• Wear approved hearing protection when working around noisy equipment,
aeration fans, dryers, etc.
• Be very cautious of grain that may have gone out of condition. Crusted grain
may have cavities beneath the surface that can collapse, leading to entrapment
and suffocation.
• Keep bystanders and children away from grain bins and grain handling


Safe Use of Hand Tools

Tools have always been indispensable helpmates, and a good set of hand tools
is essential for any farm shop, machinery or facility repair, but they also
contribute to countless injuries when used incompetently.

• Use the correct tool for the job.
• Keep tools in good condition. Handles should be tight and free from defect.
Cutting tools should be kept sharp. Wedges and punches should be free from
"mushroom heads".
• Use and maintain power tools according to their instructions.
• Make sure power tools are properly grounded or are double insulated. Never
cut the three-prong plug off or use a two prong adapter.
• Switch off and unplug power tools before changing blades or servicing and
• Wear clothing with no strings or loose ends to catch on things.
• Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as glasses,
goggles, dust masks, face shields, hearing protection, etc.
• Keep bystanders at a safe distance.
• Keep all guards and shields in place. Learn to use a "push stick" with table
saws. Unplug and put tools away after use.
Consider locking out power tools to prevent others from using them without
permission, especially young children.


Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) can reduce the number and severity of
farm work related injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment not only
helps protect people but also improves productivity and profits.

• Protect your head with a hard hat when performing construction work,
trimming trees, repairing machinery, and doing other jobs with head injury risks.
• Use a sun safety hat to prevent skin cancer.
• Protect your vision with appropriate safety eyewear (safety glasses, goggles,
face-shields) when applying pesticides, fertilizers, working in the shop, or in
heavy dust conditions.
• Protect your hearing with acoustic earmuffs or plugs when operating noisy
equipment such as grain dryers, feed grinders, older tractors, chain saws, etc.
• Protect your lungs with the correct respiratory equipment (dust masks,
cartridge respirators, gas masks, air pacts) when working in dusty or moldy
conditions, spray painting, applying chemicals, working in bins, tanks, silos, and
manure storage places.
• Protect your hands from everyday abuse with job-matched gloves and barrier
• Protect your feet with safety shoes or boots with non-slip soles and heels.
• Protect your skin with impervious garments when using toxic or irritating
chemicals. In addition, use sunscreen to protect against the sun's harmful rays.


Manure Pit Gas Hazards

A confined-space hazard that often claims multiple lives before anyone realizes
there is a danger is manure gas. Manure pits can be oxygen-deficient, toxic and
explosive. There are four gases in manure pits that are of primary concern.
Hydrogen Sulfide is a highly toxic gas that is heavier than air. It can cause
dizziness, unconsciousness and death. At low concentrations it may smell like
rotten eggs, but at higher concentrations it deadens the sense of smell so that
no odor can be detected.
Carbon dioxide is an odorless, tasteless gas that is heavier than air. It
displaces the oxygen supply in the bloodstream, which can cause
unconsciousness and death.
Ammonia is a gas that is lighter than air. It has a pungent smell and can irritate
the eyes and respiratory tract. Ammonia also displaces oxygen in the
Methane is also a gas that is lighter than air. The primary hazard of methane
gas is that it can create an explosive atmosphere. This gas also displaces
It is important to never enter a manure pit alone, label the manure pit and
manure storage areas to warn of the gas hazards, obtain and use monitoring
equipment to determine the level of gases present in the manure storage area
and a safety harness should also be worn and personnel should be available
outside the storage area to monitor the entrant's progress.


Crop Protection Chemical Safety

Crop protection chemicals are necessary to ensure the production of food from
our nation's farms and ranches. They prevent unwanted weeds, insects,
rodents, fungus and diseases. When we work with chemical is necessary to do
these things:

• Always read packaging labels.

• Keep up with Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for the crop protection
chemicals that you use because it contains additional health hazard data, spill
or leak procedures and handling information.

Be sure to keep a set separate from the storage area and label it when it
contains pesticides.
• Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) such as: chemical-resistant gloves,
coveralls, boots, hat and apron, approved respirator with cartridges for
pesticides, and chemical protection goggles and face shield to prevent work

• Keep crop protection chemicals in storage areas that can be locked to keep
bystanders and children .
• Launder chemical-soiled c
lothing separately from other laundry and triple rinse


Apron: a garment usually of cloth, plastic, or leather usually tied around the
waist and used to protect clothing or adorn a costume
Bystanders: one present but not taking part in a situation or event.
Chutes: an inclined plane, sloping channel, or passage down or through which
things may pass: slide
Concern: to be a care, trouble, or distress to
Fence: a barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary
Fossil: preserved from a past geologic age <fossil plants> <fossil water in an
underground reservoir
Hazard: a source of danger
Livestock: animals kept or raised for use or pleasure; especially: farm animals
kept for use and profit
Hitching: to catch or fasten by or as if by a hook or knot
Jackknife: to cut with a jackknife
Cartridges: tube (as of metal) containing a complete charge for a firearm and
usually an initiating device (as a primer)
Earmuffs: one of a pair of ear coverings connected by a flexible band and worn
as protection against cold or noises.


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