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Crops in the Garden and on the Farm Soils 101 Organic Gardening and Farming Kristy Borrelli March 1, 2011

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Organic Gardening and Farming


  • 1.Crops in the Gardenand on the Farm Soils 101Organic Gardening and Farming Kristy BorrelliMarch 1, 2011

2. Outline Important Plant Products WA State Crops Different types of crops1) Agronomic2) Horticultural3) Agroecological Practices 3. Important Products from Plants 4. Food Primary types of plants for food Cereal crops (grains) Roots/tubers Oil crops Sugar Fruits and vegetables 5. Textiles Wood Energy 6. Drugs Turf Aesthetics 7. Washington State Crops 8. 2008 WA Ag Market Values 32.5% of area in WA = Agriculture Total = $5.4 Billion Field Crops = $2.8 Billion Fruits and Nuts = $2.0 Billion Commercial Vegetables = $475 Million Specialty Products = $423 Million Berry Crops = $153 Million ns/Annual_Statistical_Bulletin/annual2009.pdf 9. Top 10 WA Ag Commodities (cultivated plants)1) Apples - $1.3 Billion (value of production)2) Wheat - $1.0 Billion3) Potatoes - $ 693 Million4) Hay (all) - $ 588 Million5) Nursery & Greenhouse - $ 321 Million6) Cherries (all) - $297 Million7) Hops - $256 Million8) Grapes (all) - $297 Million9) Pears (all) - $171 Million10) Sweet Corn - $ 141 Million 10. WA Crops Ranked #1US Production Red Raspberries 91.7 % Hops 77.3 % Spearmint Oil 74.7 % Apples57.3 % Sweet Cherries46.1 % Concord Grapes45.6 % Peppermint Oil40.6 % 11. WA Fun Facts! WA potato growers have the highest yields in theUS (produce twice as many lbs acre-1 than ID) Whitman Co. produces more wheat than anyother county in the US and is 2nd in barleyproduction WA Apples sold in all 50 states and 50+ countries WA is 2nd only to CA in the number of AgProducts it produces over 230! 12. What Plants do you Grow? 13. Crops(Crop: any plant used for human needs) 14. I. Agronomic Crops Agronomy The specialization of agricultureinvolved in the production of field-growncrops (grain, fuel, animal feed, fiber) Relatively low input during crop life cycle Usually harvested dry or left to dry 15. 1) Cereal Grains Any member of the grass family whose seedis harvested for food or feed Used as a source of carbohydrates Rice and wheat are the primary staple foodcrops grown worldwide Ground and/or processed before use Usually annual crops 16. Examples: WheatCornRice Barley 17. 2) Legume Grains Grains from the bean family (e.g. Pulses) Legume crops harvested for edible dry seeds Excludes fresh peas and beans, oil seeds and legume forages High protein and amino acids (20-25% protein by weight) A main source of dietary protein Often used in crop rotation Usually annual crops 18. Examples: Garbanzo beans Lentils Dry Beans (Pinto, Black, Navy) Ground Nuts 19. 3) Oil Crops Common families Mustard, Bean, or Aster Oil extracted from seeds for human or animal consumptionor for industrial purposes Some crops can produce both (eg: canola) Oils from plants replace animal fats and oils After crushing seeds for oil, seed meal is sometimes usedas animal feed Usually annuals 20. Examples:Peanut, Sunflower, Safflower (food)Canola and Camelina (biofuels) CamelinaSunflowerCanolaSafflower Peanut 21. 4) Fiber Crops Come from various plant families Stems and leaves used for textiles Cotton has fibrous flowers Polysaccharide (Cellulose) structural components arethe desired product Usually annual Cotton is a perennial in tropics but grown as an annual in the US 22. Examples:SisalFlax Bamboo CottonHemp 23. 5) Forages Usually from grass and bean families Grown for vegetative stems and leaves to feedlivestock Singly or mixed varieties Fed directly through grazing rangeland orpastures or harvested as hay or silage Usually Perennial 24. a) Forage legumesAlfalfa VetchAlfalfa Hay 25. b) Forage grasses OrchardgrassBromegrass Timothy 26. 6) Specialty Agronomic Crops Various families Unique crops (fairly recent) Usually develop based on market need/value Often perennial 27. Examples: MintHops 28. II. Horticultural Crops Horticulture The study of garden crops suchas fruit, vegetables, and ornamentals AKA: Ornamentals and edibles Utilized in the living state Water is essential to quality Post-harvest care is necessary 29. 1) Fruit Crops Edible, fleshy portion of a plant whosedevelopment is associated with the flower Often from a woody tree or shrub Usually Perennial Establishment takes time and management Often from the rose family but also heath, grape,citrus 30. a) Tree Fruit and Nuts OrangesAlmondsApplesCherries 31. b) Small Fruit and Berries Blueberries RaspberriesGrapes 32. 2) Vegetable Crops Edible portion (i.e. root, stem, leaf, fruit, seed,etc.) of a herbaceous plant. Vegetables are not produced by woody species Usually annual crops Found in various families 33. Examples: 34. 3) Flowers Marketed for bulbs, seeds or cut flowers Various families and varieties Perennial or annual Bedding and Landscaping U-pick Flowers a niche market for local growers 35. III. Agroecology Agroecology- An ecological approach toagriculture concerned with the ecologicalimpact of agricultural practices Diversifying cropping systems with multiplecrops Greater focus on habitat and natural cycles 36. Main Purposes1) Substitute biological inputs for outside resources (e.g. nutrients and pesticides in organics)2) Conserve and prevent degradation of natural resources from farming 37. 1) Crop Rotations Alternating cash crops annually Conserves soil moisture in dry areas May include a period of fallow Increases soil fertility (if legume isincorporated) Breaks disease and pest cycles Usually a 2 to 3 year rotation 38. Biological Nitrogen FixationA method used by legumes to obtain gaseousnitrogen (N2) from the atmosphere andconvert it to plant useable forms of N (e.g.NH4 and NO3)Requires symbiosis with Rhizobium orBradyrhizobium bacteria. 39. 2) Cover crops Usually grasses or legumes in pure or mixedstands Not the primary crop, rarely used for market Planted after harvest or alternating years Killed and incorporated = Green Manure Grown directly w/ other crops = Living Mulches Must be tailored for individual systems 40. Benefits of Cover Crops Reduce soil erosion/cover soil Improve soil structure Enhance soil fertility Increase SOM Legumes can fix N biologically Suppress weeds, insects and pathogens Can attract beneficial insects Can improve crop yield 41. Living Mulch 42. Green Manure 43. 3) Polycultures, Companion Plantingand Intercropping Growing two or more crops simultaneously soplants can benefit from each other Mixture of legumes, cereals and vegetables Plant architecture and chemical compounds Variable arrangement of plants May include animals (integrated systems) 44. Companion Planting 45. Intercropping 46. 4) Agroforestry Agroforestry Integration of trees with foodcrops and pastures Optimizes ecological and economic interactions Can be for timber or products Agroforestry in Minnesota: A Guide to Resources& Demonstration Sites, UM Extension 47. Questions?