The Department of Agronomy, University of Ibadan the first of such among Nigerian Universities, came into being in 1967 (1966/67 session) following a reorganization in the then Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science, University of Ibadan. In the organization, the existing Department of Agriculture and Agricultural Chemistry and Soils were merged to create the Department of Agronomy. The first head was Professor A.A.A Fayemi who served until 1978. He retired in 1982. He was succeeded by Professor C.T.I Odu (1978-81). Other heads of the Department (all professors), have been H.R. Chedda (1981-85), A.A. Agboola (1985-88), O. Babalola (1988-90), M.E. Aken’Ova (1990-93), J.A.I. Omueti (1993-96), G.O. Obigbesan (1996-99), A.A. Fagbami (2000-2002), E.O. Lucas (2002-2005), G.O. Adeoye (2005 – 2008) and Prof. H. Tijani-Eniola (2008 to 2012) The current head of the Department is Prof. V. O. Adetimirin (2012 till date). As part of the movement of the Faculty to its present location which began in 1973, the Department moved in 1978 from its old temporary site, now occupied by the Postgraduate School.
At inception, the Department offered two areas of specialization at the first degree level viz. Crop Science and Soil Science. In 1977/78, a third option, Horticulture, was added with the introduction of the four-year (i.e four years excluding 100-level), B.Sc. (Agric.) degree programme. The first set of Horticulture graduates emerged in 1981. Before the institution of the National University Commission’s Minimum Academic Standards in 1989 and which the Faculty began operating in the 1992/93 session, the Department offered three options at the first degree level i.e. B.Sc. (Agric.): Soil Science, Crop Science and Horticulture.
The B.Sc. (Agric.) degree also transformed to Bachelor of Agriculture (B.Agric) Degree. The first set of the B.Agric. (Crop and Soil Sciences) programme, numbering 17, graduated in the 2001/2002 session. At present only one first degree option: B. Agric. (Agronomy and Horticultural Sciences). Total undergraduate output up to 1999, at the end of the 20th century, was 442.
Postgraduate training took off slowly in the 1960s. The first doctorate (Ph.D) was awarded in 1967 to Dr. (later Professor) C.T.I. Odu in the area of soil microbiology. By the end of the 20th century, the Department had turned out a total of 521 Master’s (M.Sc.) degree holders, 40 M.Phil. (Master of Philosophy) graduates and 123 doctorates. Postgraduates training has covered the various areas of research in the Department viz, the Crop Sciences (biometrics, field crops production, plant nutrition, plant physiology, horticulture, pasture agronomy plant breeding, weed science) and the Soil Sciences (soil biology, soil chemistry and fertility, soil survey and classification, soil physics and water relations, land use planning, pedology/mineralogy and agrometeorology). Farming Systems which is cross-disciplinary is also a major focus of research. The Department engages in consultancy work from time to time. Like other academic units, the Department has had to struggle against the consequence of inadequate funding. In 1985, it established the Agronomy Fund from savings from consultancy services rendered. The rather modest proceeds from the Fund investments are utilized to meet expenses such as repair of research equipment and part-time labour for research. The Department continually revises its curriculum to make our graduates not just more employable but able to create employment as well.