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

CCA Exam Preparation

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

CCA expertise includes:

  • 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

Knowledge areas covered in the online course:

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

Fees and schedule

Cost: $260 + GST

This course is synchronized with the CCA exam schedule and is now closed. We highly recommend registering for our prep course only if you are registered to write the next exam as our content is approved by the Prairie CCA board for each specific exam session and, as such, may be subject to change between exam offerings depending on the required instruction. As such, there is no ability for students to carry over registrations between exam study sessions. The next CCA exam will be held August 3, 2018. Our prep course for this exam is now open and students can register at any time. The course takes 15-30 hours of time to complete so we will close the program July 30, 2018 to allow later registrants time before the exam date to complete the prep course.


Prepare for the Prairie portion of your Certified Crop Adviser exam by taking this online course complete with comprehensive pdf textbook and question database that you can challenge over and over. This course is intended for people taking their CCA exam in the coming session, therefore we highly recommend registering with the Prairie CCA for your exams before registering for our exam prep course.

The next Prairie CCA exams will be held Friday, August 3, 2018 in Saskatoon on the U of S campus. Registration for our exam prep is now open. The prep course and online challenge exams will close once the CCA exams are complete but students will keep their study guides for future reference.


Darcy Parenteau
Program Assistant

Vanessa Young
Program Coordinator