Grain Crops Meeting Human needs with Plants
Objectives: • Name Grain Crops, grain uses, and leading grain production states • Describe how to select grain crops and varieties • Explain cultural requirements of major grain crops, including corn, wheat, rice, and grain sorghum • Name and describe cultural practices with minor and emerging grain crops, including amaranth, barley, oats, quinoa, rye, teff, triticale, and wild rice
Crops and Use: • Grain- the seed of a cereal grain plant • Kernel- part of an individual grain within the seed coat (contents provide nutrients for human and livestock feed)
Grain crops grown: • Major grain crops in the U.S. – Corn, Wheat , and Rice • Other grain crops in the U.S. - oats, barley, rye, and grain sorghum • Minor grain crops in the U.S.- amaranth, buckwheat, millet, quinoa, teff, triticale, and wild rice
Grain use: • Grown for human food primarily • Animal feed • Manufacturing of products • Alternative fuel sources
Selecting crops and varieties: • Most have more than one variety • Selecting crops depends on 5 areas – climate, soil and water, market, technology, and personal skills and preferences To plant or not to plant ?
Climate • average weather condition over a period of time • Crop variety selection should focus on climate as a factor • Climate affects the number of growing days in a region • Some crop varieties need a longer growing season of warm weather • Other crops such as winter wheat can survive winter an mature in the spring
Soil and Water • must be within the range of the requirements of the crops to be grown. • Crop variety selection should focus on soil and water as a factor • Soil fertility and moisture content of the soil have a huge impact on the productivity and the quality of crop production • Certain crop varieties require large amounts of water availability and in turn a soil with good water holding capacity, like rice, it has to be flooded during much of the growing season.
Market • grain crop sales depend on a market to be sold if you have no market your crops are useless Know where I could sell some corn? Nope, got any Wheat?
Technology • the use of science or the products of science in the growing of a grain crop • Equipment • Fertilizer • Improved seed • Pest control • Other technology such as good roads, crop consultants, cell phones, and computers
Skills and preferences • your background and experience should help guide your crop variety choice along with other considerations: I knew I shouldn’t have planted those soybeans under this bridge!
Corn production: • Corn is much more important to the U.S. than anywhere else in the world because we produce near half of the entire worlds corn supply about 70mil acres worth every year
Types of corn: • Dent corn- major type grown for grain (aka field corn) flat grains with an indention in the crown • Flint corn- rounded grains hard outer cover, soft interior • Floury corn- soft corn can be white, blue, or other shades of colors • Sweet corn- planted for human food, high sugar content and lower starch content • Popcorn- grown commercially for popcorn market, harvested in the fall when it has matured and the moisture content is low, the little moisture inside the grains turns to steam when heated which causes the kernel to explode.
Varieties • Corn varieties sold for large scale production are hybrids • Bred for local conditions • Vary in height, number of ears per stalk, days to maturity. Etc. This is very cornfusing!
Planting • Timing insures crop germination, growth, and harvest within a limited time frame • Soil temperature is also a factor, must be above 50° F at a depth of 2”
Degree days • (Growing Degree Days) Measure of the temperature requirements for the best crop growth. • The maximum temp. + The minimum temp. in a day / 2 – 50 • Low of 60° F high of 86° F the GDD would be: • 60 + 86 = 146 / 2 = 73 – 50 = 23 GDD
Seedbed • Earth prepared for seeding using a moldboard or chisel plow and followed by a disc harrow • Rows planted at around 30 inches (2.5 ft) apart 2 inches deep Disc harrow Moldboard plow Chisel plow
Plant population • Between 24k and 32k is normal • Ft/ac divided by row spacing divide by desired number of plants yields seed drop spacing • 43,560 / 2.5 = 17,424 / 32,000 = 05.5 inches apart Hey stop crowding me! Stay in your own row!
Fertilization: • Good yields require nutrients especially corn • Soil test should be taken to determine the need for soil amendments We’ll have the Nitrogen please
Pest Control • IPM should be used to control pests • Common pests include: weeds, insects, nematodes, diseases • Can be somewhat controlled by planting resistant varieties
Harvesting • Should be timed for maximum yield • Alfatoxins could be a problem during storage if humidity is too high, this is a poison produced by a fungus and can be deadly in large amounts
Wheat production: • Most important cereal grain crop • Types grown: • Based upon time of planting, color and kernel hardness • Two main classes • Spring- planted spring, grows summer, matures fall • Winter- planted fall, establishes winter, grows rapidly spring Spring Winter
Wheat production: • Color-two main classes red (predominated the U.S.) and white preferred for flour making) • Hardness- determined by the endosperm allows different wheat to have different purposes. Hard Red Winter Wheat Hard White
Varieties: • Wheat varieties should be selected for climate adaptation and yield • Vary in height, and winter hardiness
Planting: • Three important factors • Date: season of the wheat winter or spring • Seedbed: conventional or no-till • Seeding: Wheat is drilled at 6in spacing, 12k to 20k seeds per lb. and generally 20 to 100 lb. per acre higher end of that figure is for grazing
Fertilization: • Good yields require nutrients and wheat responds well as it is a grass • Soil test should be taken to determine the need for soil amendments Show me the nitrogen!
Pest management: • IPM should be used to control pests • Common pests include: insects, weeds, and diseases • Can be somewhat controlled by planting resistant varieties • Cultural practices can be used to avoid certain pest
Harvesting: • Should be timed for maximum yield wheat will be golden brown • Shattering could be a problem during harvest if the kernels fall from the head before they are harvested. Wheat in danger of shatter
Rice Production: • Types grown: • Based upon grain length in three lengths short, medium, and long • Two cultural methods of growing • Low-land- planted in large low flat fields • Up-land- planted on hill sides called rice paddies
Varieties: • Rice varieties should be selected for climate adaptation and yield • Vary in grain length, and chosen according to region that best supports their growth and production Paddy in Japan Rice field in Arkansas
Planting: • Three important factors • Date: depends on air temp. so the water will not too hot or cold • Seedbed: land needs to be leveled be loose at the surface but tight below to hold water, terraces may also be necessary to slow water and avoid erosion • Seeding: Rice is drilled or broadcast on wet or dry seed beds and flooded after planting
Water management: • Rice requires large amounts of water and is measured in acre-inches • An acre of land is covered in water that is 1 in deep • So a field that has 3 in deep water has 3 acre in per acre
Fertilization: • Good rice yields require fertilizer especially nitrogen and since rice is grown in an aquatic environment nitrogen is often lost to denitrification of the saturated soil • Soil test should be taken to determine the need for soil amendments
Pest management: • IPM should be used to control pests • Common pests include: insects, weeds, and diseases • Some small aquatic animals also cause problems • Can be somewhat controlled by planting resistant varieties • Cultural practices can be used to avoid certain pest
Harvesting: • Should be timed after draining the fields and they have had adequate time to dry to support the weight of a combine • Rice kernels should be at 18 to 22 percent moisture
Grain sorghum (MILO) Production: • Ranks fifth in worldwide grain production and 3rd in U.S. grain production • Types grown: • 4 types, grain sorghum, sweet sorghum (forage), broom corn, and grass sorghums (Johnson grass, sudan grass) • 4 basic colors, yellow, white, brown, mixed
Varieties: • Varieties should be selected for climate adaptation and yield and must meet market requirements • Vary and should be chosen according to region that best supports their growth and production • Those bound for human consumption must be of the white variety Stop Please don’t eat the Johnson Grass!
Planting: • Date: depends on soil temp. of at least 55° F April or May • Seedbed: conventional or no-till • Planting done via row planter in shallow furrows (listing) at 18 in spacing or like corn in wider spacing • Maybe used as a rotated crop to increases land use and lower fertilizer cost, ex. Cotton or soybeans • Plant population may be as high as 100,00 ppa Where’s Waldo?
Moisture management: • Grain sorghum requires large amounts of water to produce a crop • Grain sorghum is very efficient user of soil moisture, uses up to 90% for a depth of 35 in Y’all thirsty over there? Nope it rained last month
Fertilization: • Grain sorghum efficiently uses existing soil nutrients, but nitrogen is often applied in split application, once before planting and once during growth • Soil test should be taken to determine the need for soil amendments, before and after growing grain sorghum, because it removes nutrients so efficiently they must be replenished by the producer
Pest management: • IPM should be used to control pests • Common pests include: insects, weeds, diseases, birds, and other animals • birds cause the largest problems • Can be somewhat controlled by planting resistant varieties • Cultural practices can be used to avoid certain pests like crop rotation
Harvesting: • Should be timed after heads have matured and the stalks have begun to dry • grain should be at no more than 20 percent moisture
Other grain crops: • Amaranth- sometimes considered a weed or an herb, high in protein and lysine. Broadleaf that produces small seeds similar to sorghum. Prefers slightly higher ph than other plants, can be combine harvested.
Other grain crops: • Barley- very old grain crop, some use in food and feedstuff, grown primarily for hay and forage, has winter and spring varieties like wheat, can be combine harvested.
Other grain crops: • Millet- used for grain and summer forage, Prosoonly variety grown in the U.S. heads out like sorghum but grains are large and round, often harvested for hay instead of grain.
Other grain crops: • Oats- decline in production due to the declined use of draft animals; however human consumption has kept the U.S. oat production at the top of the leader board. The unground oat grain is called groat, the groat is roasted separated from the shell and rolled
Other grain crops: • Quinoa- grown heavily in south America, cold tolerant, grows in dry climates, similar to rice, higher oil yield than corn, grows well at altitudes of around 8,000 ft.
Other grain crops: • Rye- growth much like wheat, very hearty grain, not used much anymore for anything other than a green manure or cover crop, some planted for hay or pasture
Other grain crops: • Teff- widely used grain in foreign countries, used for human food or animal feed, has few pest problems but is slow growing
Other grain crops: • Triticale- crossbreed of rye and wheat, higher protein than both its parents, high productivity and climatic adaptation, grows in cold climates and is resistant to many diseases Wheat Rye Triticale