Certified Crop Advisor

Course Overview

The CCA Program began in 1991 when leaders from agribusiness, government and university organizations, along with the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), began discussions to create a voluntary certification program for crop advisers. The program was established to set standards that would be followed by its members in order to be valued by the agriculture community, employers and consumers.

Today, the CCA program is found throughout the United States and most regions of Canada. It is coordinated by the ASA and administered at the local level by state or regional boards. Policies and guidelines are determined by the national board of directors working in conjunction with ASA and the CCA Advisory Council made up of representatives from 37 state and regional boards.

In Western Canada, the Prairie CCA (PCCA) Board administers the program within Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba. Board members are all volunteers with crop advising backgrounds representing researchers, educators, agribusiness, government extension and regulatory agencies, and the respective Institutes of Agrologists.

Since 1991, CCA certification has rapidly become the standard by which crop advisers are measured. There are currently over 14,000 certified crop advisers with some 1,276 in Canada and 723 in the Prairie Provinces. These advisers play a key role in assisting crop producers in implementing agronomically and environmentally sound nutrient, crop, pest, soil and environmental management plans.

From the Prairie Certified Crop Adviser Board

Offered through partnership with the Prairie Certified Crop Adviser board, this flexible online course prepares you for the Prairie portion of your CCA exam. It includes:

  • All required competency areas
  • Knowledge quizzes
  • Educational video links
  • Practice exams

Course Objectives

By the end of the course the participants will be able to know about the:

  • weed, disease and pest identification within a typical Prairie cropping system
  • providing pesticide or cultural solutions
  • providing rates, dates and rules (including water volume specs) for pesticide application

Course Content

Nutrient Management

  • Soil pH and symbiotic N fixation
  • Effective practices for managing high and low pH soils
  • Clay and organic matter effect on the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of a soil
  • Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) effect on soil fertility
  • Soils with high, medium and low CEC

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

  • Principles and practices of integrated pest management
  • Methods for sampling and submitting plant and pest material for diagnosis and laboratory analysis
  • Advantages and limitations of adopting an IPM program
  • Weed Management - Seedling ID, weed species, scouting techniques
  • Spray Equipment and Pesticide Safety
  • Insect Management – ID and scouting techniques
  • Contact and systemic herbicides
  • Herbicide resistance

 Soil and Water Management

  • Principles and practices of soil and water management
  • Soil zones, climate and vegetation of the prairie region
  • Crop productivity and crop adaptability among the major soil zones
  • Management practices and soil conditions that increase the risk of agricultural pollution
  • Characteristics and key distinguishing features of the most common soil orders on the prairies
  • Soil texture, bulk density, structure, soil tilth and their relationship(s) to soil porosity and soil water matter, soil pH, and available nutrients
  • Management of excess water
  • Soil Properties, Problem Soils and Management of Problem Soils
  • Soil salinization in the prairie soils
  • Soil organic matter
  • Manure Management and Regulations

 Crop Management

  • Soil and environmental factors limiting prairie crop production
  • Advantages and disadvantages of fall versus spring field management practices
  • Maximum economic yield and fertilizer use
  • Seeding rate, depth and date of small grains, oilseeds, pulses, grasses and legumes
  • Seed treatments
  • Plant Breeders Rights Act
  • Crop variety selection
  • Organic farms
  • Precision Farming
  • Crop Rotations
  • Forage Management

Course Methodology

The training is going to be highly interactive combination of lectures, group discussions, questionnaires, individual reflections, role plays, simulations and videos.

Target Audience

  • Consultants preparing to take the Pennsylvania Certified Crop Adviser exam
  • Crop Advisers preparing to take the Pennsylvania Certified Crop Adviser exam


5 Days (08:30–14:30) with appropriate breaks for tea/refreshments and lunch.