farmer at work

Row Crop Producer / Farmer Career Overview – Learn What They Do

A farmer (or row crop producer) plants and harvests row crops. Traditionally, that means:

  • Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Soybeans
  • Wheat
  • Canola
  • Cotton
  • Sunflowers

and more. This is done either independently for a farm they own or for a larger company.

What does a row crop producer do?

To get more specific about the first section, farmers also have the following responsibilities:

  • Preparation for the season by purchasing seed
  • Prepare the land by tilling in spring and fall
  • Use an assortment of farming equipment ranging from tractors, loaders, discs, cultivators, planters, and harvesters.
  • Crop harvesting
  • Keep machines running with regular maintenance
  • Manage inventory
  • Manage sales of harvested crops
  • Haul grain to processing plants

As you can see, row crop producers have a wide range of possible responsibilities. If they’re independent, that also means they have to manage paperwork and keep records.

How to become a row crop producer

A high school diploma is enough to get your foot in the door. However, an associate’s degree or higher in a field like agriculture can be very helpful.

Additional certifications can also help a lot with all of the duties they have, like a CDL or pesticide applicator license.


  1. CDL
  2. Pesticide applicator license

Work opportunities

Row crop producers have options – some may choose to work on their own, others may choose to work for larger companies involved with crop production.

Professional farming associations and organizations

Click here to view the latest row crop producer jobs

A day in the life of a row crop producer

A row crop producer is someone who manages a farm that primarily grows crops such as corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, and other similar crops. The role of a row crop producer is essential to the agriculture industry, as they are responsible for producing crops that are used for food, fuel, and other important products.

Here is what a typical day in the life of a row crop producer might look like.

Early Morning

The day for a row crop producer typically begins early in the morning. They may start by checking weather forecasts and assessing the current state of their crops. This may involve inspecting fields, checking soil moisture levels, and evaluating crop health.

After assessing the state of their crops, the producer may then coordinate with other farm workers to plan out the day’s tasks. This may include tasks such as planting, irrigating, fertilizing, or harvesting crops, as well as maintaining farm equipment and facilities.


As the day progresses, the producer may work on a variety of tasks related to crop management. For example, they may be responsible for operating and maintaining farm equipment, such as tractors, combines, and other machinery. They may also be responsible for applying fertilizers, herbicides, or other crop inputs, as well as managing irrigation systems to ensure that crops receive the necessary water.

The producer may also work with other farm workers to perform tasks such as planting and harvesting crops. This may involve using specialized equipment to plant seeds, harvest crops, or transport them to storage facilities.


In the afternoon, the producer may continue with tasks from the morning or move on to new ones. They may also use this time to attend to administrative tasks, such as managing finances, updating records, or ordering supplies.

The producer may also work on tasks related to farm maintenance, such as repairing equipment, maintaining buildings and facilities, or managing soil health. They may also spend time scouting fields for pests or diseases, and implementing management strategies to mitigate the risks associated with these threats.


As the day comes to a close, the producer may finish up any tasks that need to be completed, such as managing irrigation or performing additional maintenance on farm equipment. They may also use this time to review crop yield reports, assess the success of their crop management strategies, and plan for future seasons.

Being a row crop producer requires a high level of technical expertise and a deep understanding of crop management strategies. It is an essential role in the agriculture industry, as it helps to ensure that crops are produced efficiently and sustainably, providing important products that are used by people around the world. By working closely with other farm workers, agricultural researchers, and industry professionals, a row crop producer can help to ensure the long-term success of the agriculture industry and contribute to the overall well-being of society.

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