The scope of horticulture and agriculture deals with the cultivation of plants. However, its differences and similarities continue to confuse people that wish to go into the field. This article will explain in detail the definition of horticulture vs agriculture degrees. You will also know their job description, schools where you can study them and cost, salary, and job growth.
The moment you finish reading this article, you will understand clearly the relationship and little differences between the two careers.
Horticulture is a branch of plant agriculture. Both fields of study deal with the cultivation of crops for the benefit of mankind. With this, you can have a little understanding of the relationship. As we proceed further, you will see more similarities and differences between the two fields.
Meanwhile, you can see the highlights of this post in the table of contents below.
- What is Horticulture?
- What is Agriculture?
- Horticulture vs Agriculture: How do I know the similarities?
- What are the differences between Horticulture and Agriculture?
- Horticulture vs Agriculture: Educational requirements for a degree
- What are the best schools for studying Horticulture and Agriculture?
- How much will it cost me to study Horticulture or Agriculture?
- Job description of Horticulturists and Agriculturists
- What is the salary and job outlook of Horticulturists and Agriculturists?
- FAQs on Horticulture Degree vs Agriculture Degree
What is Horticulture?
Horticulture is the science and art of cultivating, propagating, processing, and marketing of ornamental plants, flowers, turf, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. In addition, it involves the management and cultivation of gardens and land.
On the other hand, the different types of horticultural crops include annual and perennial species, delicious fruits and vegetables, and decorative indoor and landscape plants. These horticultural crops sustain and enrich our lives by giving us nutritious food, giving more beauty to our homes and communities. They also help to reduce our carbon footprint.
Horticulture as a field of study has so many branches including:
A person that studies horticulture is called a horticulturist. Horticulturists carry out research in plant breeding, propagation, physiology, and biochemistry. They also research in gardening and landscaping, crop production, and genetic engineering.
What is Agriculture?
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivation of crops, rearing of animals for the benefit of man. When you practice agriculture, it is known as “farming”. On the other hand, scientists, inventors, and others committed to improving farming methods and implements are also said to be practicing agriculture.
Agriculture is divided into two types. They include:
- Subsistence Agriculture
- Industrialized/Commercial Agriculture
In subsistence agriculture, the farmer lives on a small piece of land and produces enough food to feed their family and have a small cash crop. The sole aim of subsistence agriculture is to produce enough food for the family. In a situation where the production is in excess, the farmer can now sell to other families or individuals.
Farmers practicing subsistence agriculture do not depend on chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and machines. Instead, they use manpower and more natural manure from animals to fertilize the plants.
Commercial agriculture involves the production of a large number of crops and livestock through mechanized means for the purpose of sale. The aim of commercial agriculture is to increase crop yield that will be used to feed the masses and for sale.
Farmers practicing commercial agriculture produce large quantities of food due to the farming methods they use. In other words, they use large machines to work in the fields instead of using animals and manpower.
There is always an increase in crop production due to the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The chemical fertilizers always add inorganic nutrients to the soil to improve the plant’s growth and yield. Pesticides used in industrialized agriculture helps to kill pests that are destroying the crops.
Horticulture vs Agriculture: How do I know the similarities?
The similarity between horticulture and agriculture is so clear. Horticulture is a branch of agriculture. Both horticulture and agriculture deals with the cultivation and marketing of crops. In addition, they use the same techniques.
What are the differences between Horticulture and Agriculture?
While horticulture is an offshoot of agriculture, there are so many differences between the two practices.
In the table below, we will take a look at the differences between horticulture and agriculture.
|It deals with the cultivation of crops and animals||It deals with the cultivation of crops only|
|The aim of agriculture is only for food consumption||The sole aim of horticulture is for consumption and ornamental purposes. The ornamental group includes arboriculture, floriculture, and landscaping while the edible group includes olericulture, phonology, and viticulture|
|Agricultural practices are carried out on a large scale||Horticultural practices are carried out on a small scale and mostly in the garden|
|The practice of agriculture weakens ecological succession and reduces biodiversity due to mono-cropping which is at the primary stage of succession||Horticulture encourages development of biodiversity and helps to improve ecological succession|
|The cultivation of perennial crops is common in agriculture||The cultivation of annual crops is common in horticulture|
|Artificial or chemical herbicides or pesticides are used in agriculture to control pests and weed||Cultural methods of weed and pest control are used in horticulture|
Horticulture vs Agriculture: Educational requirements for a degree
Both a degree in horticulture and a degree in agriculture share similar educational requirements.
For you to enter the agricultural science and horticultural field, you will need to complete a bachelor’s degree program in a related subject.
Students in these fields will offer introductory courses in botany, chemistry, and soil science. Some courses will require students to participate in laboratory experiments so as to gain insights into plant cultivation and animal breeding. During the program, students will have to choose a specialization such as horticulture or animal science.
Based on their selection, they take and complete core courses that may include animal husbandry, agroecology, or crop management. Here, they use microscopes and other instruments to monitor and analyze plant specimens or fertilizers.
On the other hand, those who wish to go into research work for academic institutions or firms may need an advanced degree such as a master’s degree or Ph.D. in a field of agriculture. A master’s degree program in the field will take you between 1 to 2 years to complete. Whereas, a Ph.D. program will require between 3 to 4 years of study and research to complete.
At the graduate level, students gain advanced experience in a particular specialization in the field. For instance, students specializing in animal science may complete advanced courses in genetics and carry out research on an animal offspring.
What are the best schools for studying Horticulture and Agriculture?
Pursuing a career in agriculture and choosing to specialize in horticulture is worth it especially when you study in a top school that offers quality education in the field.
So, we have for you here the best agriculture schools in the world. These institutions offer bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degree programs in the field of agriculture.
The selection was done based on acceptance rate, number of programs, graduation rate, accreditation, student-faculty ratio, testimonials, and tuition fee.
Therefore, the best schools for agriculture in the world include:
How much will it cost me to study Horticulture or Agriculture?
The cost of acquiring a degree in agriculture or specializing in horticulture is the same as most programs. However, the cost of a degree in the field varies from one institution and country to another.
For example, you can expect to pay not more than $41,952 for a four-year degree program in agricultural science in the U.S.A.
Job description of Horticulturists and Agriculturists
A horticulturist’s basic job involves cultivating, marketing, and propagating ornamental plants. They work with different types of plants, crops, and gardens on so many levels. Just a hand-full of these farmers work in fields, nurseries. The level of work which they do depends on their education and experience.
Horticulturists help to improve the quality of foods by devising on plant retention power, growth, and nutrition. They also carry out nursery or greenhouse management.
Some cultivate plants while others work in laboratories and assist in classrooms in the capacity of a consultant. Those who work in the laboratories analyze plants to find out whether they lack nutrients or have any disease infections. Afterward, they determine the best measures they will use to solve the problems.
An agriculturist on the other hand;
What is the salary and job outlook of Horticulturists and Agriculturists?
According to the 2018 U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics report, plant and soil scientists earned an average salary of $70,630 per year; animal scientists made an average of $67,690 per year, and food scientists and technologists earned an average of $72,570 per year. Horticulturists and agriculturists that are involved in research and development were among the top employers for all three professions.
On the other hand, the job of agricultural and food scientists is projected to grow by 7% between 2018 to 2028. The growth will occur due to the need of balancing environmental protection with the demands for agricultural resources, as well as the development of plant-based biofuels.
Horticulture and agriculture play a major role for the benefit of man. Although horticulture is a branch of agriculture, it is actually different from it. However, you can easily relate them because some of the techniques are used interchangeably in both careers. Horticulture is a complete science of its own as well as a full industry.
Although both careers share a common goal, they have lots of differences which you can see from this article.
FAQs on Horticulture Degree vs Agriculture Degree
What are the branches of Horticulture?
Below are the branches of horticulture:
1. Arboriculture: Study of, and the selection, planting, care, and removal of, individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants.
2. Floriculture: Production and marketing of floral crops.
3. Landscape horticulture: Production, marketing, and maintenance of landscape plants.
4. Olericulture: Includes the production and marketing of vegetables.
5. Pomology: Production and marketing of fruits.
6. Viticulture: Production and marketing of grapes.
7. Oenology: All aspects of wine and winemaking.
8. Postharvest: Maintaining the quality of and preventing the spoilage of horticultural crops.
What skills do I need to become a horticulturist?
To become a horticulturist, you will need to possess:
1. A passion for plants and the environment
2. Attention to detail
3. A sense of creativity
4. Problem solving and critical thinking skills
5. Excellent communication skills
6. Persuasion skills
What are the main branches of agriculture?
The major branches of agriculture include:
1. Livestock production
2. Crop production
3. Agricultural economics
4. Agricultural engineering
How can I become an agriculturist?
You become a scientific agriculturist by completing courses in any relevant science field such as economics, biology, and engineering.
Where can I earn higher in Agriculture?
The top paying jobs in the field of Agriculture include:
1. Agricultural Lawyer – $115,820 per year
2. Agricultural Economist – $104,920 per year
3. Biochemist – $91,190 per year
4. Environmental Engineer – $86,800 per year
5. Bioinformatics Scientist – $80,200 per year
6. Agronomy Sales Manager – $76,470 per year
7. Agricultural Engineer – $74,480 per year
8. Food Scientist – $71,990 peer year
9. Animal Geneticist – $68,840 per year
10. Agricultural Operations Manager – $61,080 per year
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