The College of Agronomy is one of the oldest colleges in the Northwest A&F University. The undergraduate students have been enrolled since 1936, and graduate students enrolled since 1960.
The college has three undergraduate programs, including Agronomy, Plant Science and Technology, and Seed Science and Technology. There are five disciplines authorized master degree in Crop Cultivation and Farming System, Crop Genetics and Breeding, Plant Resources, Seed Engineering, and Agricultural Extension; four disciplines authorized doctoral degree in Crop Cultivation and Farming System, Crop Genetics and Breeding, Plant Resources, and Seed Engineering; and a postdoctoral research station for the Crop Discipline. Crop Genetics and Breeding is a national priority (cultivating) discipline, and Crop Cultivation and Farming System is a priority discipline in Shaanxi province.
The college has 19 sci-tech innovation platforms on national, ministerial / provincial, and university level, such as State Key Laboratory of Crop Stress Biology for Arid Areas (co-established), Yangling Breeding & Agro- biotechnology Center, Yangling Branch of China Wheat Improvement Center, Yangling Branch of China Maize Improvement Center, Wheat Breeding Engineering Research Center in Ministry of Education, Key Laboratory of Crop Eco-physiology and Farming System in Northwest Loess Plateau (Ministry of Agriculture), Key Laboratory of Wheat Biology, Genetics and Breeding in Northwest Areas (Ministry of Agriculture), Key Laboratory of Maize Biology, Genetics and Breeding in Northwest Arid Areas (Ministry of Agriculture), Shaanxi Scientific Observation and Experiment Station for Crop Genetic Resources and Germplasm Innovation (Ministry of Agriculture), Shaanxi Provincial Laboratory of Plant Genetics and Breeding, Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Crop Heterosis Research and Utilization, Shaanxi Provincial Research Center for Recycling Agricultural Engineering Technology, Shaanxi Provincial Wheat Engineering Technology Research Center, Shaanxi Provincial Wheat Variety-development Engineering Research Center, Shaanxi Provincial Maize Engineering Technology Research Center, Minor Grain and Bean Research Center, Rape Research Center, Crop Cultivation Research Center, and Wheat Research Center. The college has one campus base and 12 extramural bases for practice education, hosting two academic journals, Acta Agriculturae Boreali-Occidentalis Sinica and Journal of Triticeae Crops, and also sponsoring Shaanxi Society of Crop Sciences and Shaanxi Society of Genetics.
There are 120 full time teachers among the 223 staff members, including 40 professors/senior researchers and 80 associate professors/junior researchers，26 supervisors for doctoral students, 49 supervisors for master students.102 staffs have doctoral degree，and 46 staffs have master degree ： Among of them, there are one recipient of "National Outstanding Youth Fund", one elected “One-hundred Program” and one nominated as “SanQin Scholars” in Shaanxi ; Three are supported by New Century Talents Program sponsored by Ministry of Education, and eight won supports from provincial “Three-Five Talent Project”; one expert won the national award for outstanding contributions and five provincial wards for outstanding contributions.
Currently, there are totally 1307 registered students, including 798 undergraduate students, 373 master candidates and 136 doctoral candidates. During the past 80 years, 14,589 students graduated from the college. Among them，there are many outstanding representatives ， such as Zhao Hongzhang, the renowned wheat breeding expert and academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Professor Shen Yuqing, the founder of Agricultural Zoning in China, Lu Ming, the former Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture, Zhu Jingzhi, vice director of the People's Congress of Shaanxi Province, and Wang Hui, winner of the Highest Achievement Award of Science and Technology in Shaanxi province.，and so on。
The college conducts scientific innovation and sci-tech popularization focusing on national and regional strategic needs. During the four rotations of wheat varieties in Yellow and Huai River Valleys, four of six dominant varieties were bred by the college staff. In 1950’s, wheat variety, Bima 1 developed by academician Zhao Hongzhang, was planted in the areas up to 90 million mu (six million hectare), ranking the first record in planting area for single variety in China. In 1980’s, a series of Xiaoyan wheat varieties, developed by academician Li Zhensheng, were extended to the area of accumulative total 400 million mu (near to 27 million hectare), which won the first prize of the National Technology Invention. In 1990’s, Shaannong 7859 wheat variety, developed by researcher Nin Kun, won the first prize of State Sci-technological Progress Award. In the research field of distant hybridization and chromosome engineering, the college keeps in the academic frontier. During three rotations of Maize varieties in Shaanxi province, researcher Lin Jizhou, one of earlier agronomists of using single hybrids in Maize breeding, developed >20 Maize hybrids named in the series of Wu and Shaan. Researcher Yu Qibao founded the disease nursery breeding procedure for cotton, which had an important impact on cotton breeding. Recently, well progress was made in wheat hybrid development.
The college persists in characteristic of integrating teaching with production and research and strengthens the ability of serving agriculture, rural area and farmers. Now the college is actively strengthening popularization of crop varieties approved by national and provincial crops variety examination and approval committee. Wheat elite varieties, represented by Xinong 979 and Xiaoyan 22, are being popularized in wheat areas of Shaanxi and Huang- Huai River valleys. Rape hybrid varieties, represented by Qinyan 211, is being planted in the middle and lower reaches of the Changjiang River basin. Nowadays, 20 demonstration stations have been established in Huang-Huai wheat area. Through indefatigable efforts, wheat variety Xinong 979 is planted annually in the area of more than seven million mu (near to 470 thousand hectare), and ranking the sixth dominant wheat variety in China and the third dominant variety in Henan province. Since 2008, wheat varieties developed by the college experts has popularized in the area of 26 million 000,000 mu (near to 1.7 million hectare), and gained 5.85 billion kg grains, which yielding a profit of 7.8 billion yuan RMB for wheat growers, with the indirect benefit of more than 30 billion yuan RMB.
Based on the strategy of strengthening talents, dominated by academic disciplines, and integrating teaching with production and research, the college is enhancing the traditional subjects by means of actively strengthening the development of disciplinary intersections between biotechnology, information technology, agricultural engineering technology and traditional disciplines, and working for top agronomy discipline characterized by arid agronomy in the world.