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AG 1303: Principles of Agronomy


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Title: AG 1303: Principles of Agronomy

AG 1303 Principles of Agronomy
  • Production principles of field crops and
    horticulture crops with emphasis on harvesting,
    economics, varieties, disease and pest control,
    planting and harvesting methods, cultural
    practices, irrigation and weed control.

  • A branch of agriculture dealing with field crop
    production and soil management.

Introduction to Plants
  • The kingdom Plantae encompasses water-dwelling
    red and green algae as well as terrestrial
    plants, which have evolved to support themselves
    outside of the aquatic environment of their
  • The terrestrial plants, which include bryophytes
    (mosses) as well as the more highly evolved
    vascular plants, called tracheophytes.

Introduction to Plants
  • As a consequence of their move onto land,
    terrestrial plants require structures that
    support their weight, prevent desiccation (drying
    out), aid in reproduction, and transport water,
    nutrients, and the products of photosynthesis
    throughout the parts of the plant.
  • Bryophytes have not yet made the complete
    transition to land, and are thus still dependent
    upon a moist environment to assist in
    reproduction and nutrient transport.
  • The more highly evolved tracheophytes, on the
    other hand, have developed internal systems of
    transport and support called vascular systems,
    which have allowed them to become fully

Common Plant Characteristics
  • As explored in Common Plant Characteristics ,
    most terrestrial plants (both bryophytes and
    tracheophytes) share some general structural and
    functional features.
  • Plant bodies are divided into two regions, the
    underground root portion and the aerial shoot
    portion (including stem, leaves, flowers, and
  • These different regions of the plant are
    dependent on each other, as each performs
    different essential functions.

Common Plant Characteristics
  • Land plants also share certain more specific
    adaptations that are essential to survival out of
  • These include an impermeable waxy cuticle on the
    outer aerial surfaces, jacket cells around the
    reproductive organs, and stomata that allow gas
    exchange without risking excessive water loss.
  • All Plants are also autotrophic, meaning that
    they produce their own food and do not use other
    organisms to supply organic nutrients the way
    animals do.
  • Finally, the life cycle of plants follows a
    pattern called the alternation of generations, in
    which they fluctuate between haploid and diploid
    generations and sexual and asexual modes of

Plant Classification
  • Terrestrial plants, as noted above, are
    classified as bryophytes and tracheophytes.
  • Bryophytes, such as mosses and liverworts, are
    still dependent on a moist environment for
    reproductive and nutritive functions even though
    they are technically "terrestrial."
  • Bryophytes also have very little internal
    support, limiting the heights to which they can

Plant Classification
  • As a phylum, Bryophytes, are lower on the
    evolutionary scale than tracheophytes, which have
    adapted completely to life on land.
  • Tracheophytes (also known as vascular plants)
    possess well-developed vascular systems, which
    are comprised of tissues that form internal
    passageways through which water and dissolved
    nutrients can traverse the entire plant.

Plant Classification
  • Vascular plants are thus far less reliant on
    moist environments for survival.
  • At the same time, Vascular systems also provide a
    strong system of support to the plant, allowing
    some tracheophytes to grow to immense heights.
  • The tracheophytes can be further broken down into
    two kinds of seed-producing plants, gymnosperms
    (conifers) and angiosperms (flowering plants).

Plant Classification
  • The male gametes of gymnosperms and angiosperms
    are carried by pollen each of these types of
    plants also produce seeds, which protect the
    embryos inside from drying out in a terrestrial
  • Angiosperms, with their flowers and fruits, have
    adapted even further to the terrestrial
    environment flowers, by attracting insects and
    other pollen-bearing animals, aid in the transfer
    of pollen to female reproductive organs.
  • Angiosperm fruits, developed from ovaries,
    protect the seeds and help in their dispersal.
  • Finally, angiosperms themselves are divided into
    two classes--monocots and dicots--based on
    differences in embryonic development, root
    structure, flower petal arrangement, and other

Structures and Functions
  • The seed, which develops from an ovule after
    fertilization has occurred, surrounds the plant
    embryo and protects it from desiccation.
  • Each seed consists of an embryo, food source, and
    protective outer coat, and can lie dormant for
    some time before germinating.
  • The roots of a plant function in the storage of
    nutrients, the acquisition of water and minerals
    (from the soil), and the anchoring of the plant
    to the substrate.

Structures and Functions
  • Tiny root hairs, which extend from the root
    surface, provide the plant with a huge total
    absorptive surface and are responsible for most
    of the plant's water and mineral intake.
  • Plant stems (or trunks, as they are called in
    trees) function primarily in nutrient transport
    and physical support.
  • The leaves contain chlorophyll and are the major
    sites of photosynthesis and gas exchange.
  • Flowers contain the reproductive organs of

Essential Processes
  • Plants carry out a number of processes that are
    essential to their survival.
  • Internal water and sugar transport are largely
    carried out within the vascular system, ensuring
    that the entire plant receives water and food
    even though these materials are brought in or
    produced only in certain parts of the plant.

Essential Processes
  • Plant hormones determine the timing and
    occurrence of many of the processes of the plant,
    from germination to tissue growth to
  • Plants can also respond to light, touch, and
    gravity in various ways.

Life Cycle
  • The life cycle of plants depends upon the
    alternation of generations, the fluctuation
    between the diploid (sporophyte) and haploid
    (gametophyte) life stages.
  • Reproduction in most plants can occur both
    sexually and asexually.
  • In sexual reproduction, fertilization occurs when
    a male gamete (sperm cell) joins with an egg cell
    to produce a zygote.

Life Cycle
  • In gymnosperms and angiosperms (the seed plants),
    the ovule containing the egg cell becomes a seed
    after fertilization has occurred.
  • In angiosperms (flowering plants), the embryo is
    given added protection by an ovary, which
    develops into a fruit.
  • Plants can also reproduce asexually through
    vegetative propagation, a process in which plants
    produce genetically identical offshoots (clones)
    of themselves, which then develop into
    independent plants.
  • This asexual means of reproduction can occur
    naturally through specialized structures such as
    tubers, runners, and bulbs or artificially
    through grafting.

Classification Based on Life Span
  • From a horticultural perspective, life span is a
    function of climate and usage.
  • Many garden plants (including tomatoes and
    geraniums) grown as annuals in Colorado would be
    perennials in climates without freezing winter

  • Complete their life cycle (from seedling to
    setting seed) within a SINGLE growing season.
  • However, the growing season may be from fall to
    summer, not just spring to fall.
  • These plants come back from seeds only.

Summer annuals
  • Germinate from seed in the spring and complete
    flowering and seed production by fall, followed
    by plant death, usually due to cold temperatures.
  • Their growing season is from spring to fall.
  • Examples marigolds, squash, and crabgrass. These
    are also called warm season annuals.

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Winter annuals
  • Germinate from seed in the fall, with flowering
    and seed development the following spring,
    followed by plant death.
  • Their growing season is from fall to summer.
  • Examples winter wheat and annual bluegrass.
  • These are also referred to as cool season
  • Many weeds in the lawn (such as chickweed and
    annual bluegrass) are winter annuals.

  • Germinate from seed during the growing season and
    often produce an over-wintering storage root or
    bulb the first summer.
  • Quite often they maintain a rosette growth habit
    the first season, meaning that all the leaves are
  • They flower and develop seeds the second summer,
    followed by death.

  • In the garden setting, we grow many biennials as
    annuals (e.g., carrots, onions, and beets)
    because we are more interested in the root than
    the bloom.
  • Some biennial flowers may be grown as short-lived
    perennials (e.g., hollyhocks).

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  • Live through several growing seasons, and can
    survive a period of dormancy between growing
  • These plants regenerate from root systems or
    protected buds, in addition to seeds.

  • Herbaceous perennials develop over-wintering
    woody tissue only at the base of shoots (e.g.
    peony and hosta) or have underground storage
    structures from which new stems are produced.
  • (Please note Golden Vicary Privet can be either
    herbaceous or woody as grown in Colorado.)

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  • Spring ephemerals have a relatively short growing
    season but return next season from underground
    storage organs (e.g. bleeding heart, daffodils).
  • Woody perennials develop over-wintering tissue
    along woody stems and in buds, (e.g. most trees
    and shrubs grown in Colorado).
  • Combination plants are usually classified as
    annual, biennial or perennial on the basis of the
    plant part that lives the longest. For example,
    raspberries have biennial canes and perennial

Classification by Climatic Requirements
Temperature Requirements
  • Tropical plants originate in tropical climates
    with a year-round summer like growing season
    without freezing temperatures.
  • Examples include cocoa, cashew and macadamia
    nuts, bananas, mango, papaya, and pineapple.

Classification by Climatic Requirements
Temperature Requirements
  • Sub-tropical plants cannot tolerate severe winter
    temperatures but need some winter chilling.
  • Examples include citrus, dates, figs, and olives.
  • Temperate-zone plants require a cold winter
    season as well as summer growing season and are
    adapted to survive temperatures considerably
    below freezing point.
  • Examples include apples, cherries, peaches,
    maples, cottonwoods, and aspen.
  • In temperate zones, tropical and sub-tropical
    plants are grown as annuals and houseplants.

Classification by Climatic Requirements
Temperature Requirements
  • Cool season plants thrive in cool temperatures
    (40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit daytime
    temperatures) and are somewhat tolerant of light
  • Examples include Kentucky bluegrass, peas,
    lettuce, and pansies.
  • Warm season plants thrive in warm temperatures
    (65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit daytime
    temperatures) and are intolerant of cool
  • Examples include corn, tomatoes and squash.

Classification by Climatic Requirements
Temperature Requirements
  • Tender plants are intolerant of cool
    temperatures, frost and cold winds.
  • Examples include most summer annuals, including
    impatiens, squash, and tomatoes.
  • Hardy plants are tolerant of cool temperatures,
    light frost and cold winds (e.g., spring
    flowering bulbs, spring-flowering perennials,
    peas, lettuce).

Classification by Climatic Requirements
Temperature Requirements
  • Hardiness refers to a plants tolerance to winter
    climatic conditions.
  • Factors that influence hardiness include minimum
    temperature, recent temperature patterns, water
    supply, wind and sun exposure, genetic makeup,
    and carbohydrate reserves.
  • Cold hardiness zone refers to the average annual
    minimum temperature for a geographic area.
  • Temperature is only one factor that influences a
    plants winter hardiness.
  • The USDA Hardiness zone map http//www.usna.usda

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Classification by Climatic Requirements
Temperature Requirements
  • Heat zone refers to the accumulation of heat, a
    primary factor on how fast crops grow and what
    crops are suitable for any given area. This is
    only one factor that influences a plants heat
    tolerance. On a heat zone map, the Colorado Front
    Range falls into zones 5 to 7.

Soil Functions
  • The soil FURNISHES nutrients, minerals, water,
    and support for plants. No plants, no us!
  • The soil FILTERS water removing toxins and
  • The soil RECYCLES materials, organisms Carbon,
    Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Nitrogen compounds.

Soil Functions (continued)
  • The soil is used for the ENGINEERING of roads,
    ponds, buildings, and basically the foundation of
    all production.
  • The soil provides an ECOSYSTEM or home for
    decomposers, bacteria, fungi, and animals.

Soil Texture
  • Soil Texture is the physical make-up of the soil.
    The particles of soil themselves.
  • When we talk texture, we mean
  • SAND particles of soil from 2mm-.05mm
  • SILT particles of soil from .05mm- .002mm
  • CLAY particles of soil from .002mm-.001mm
  • Particles are rarely found smaller than .001mm
    however, if found they are called Golloids.

Soil Texture (Repetition is the Mother of
  • Sand the largest particles of soil (2mm-.05mm)
  • Silt .05mm- .002mm
  • Clay the smallest particles of soil
    (.002mm-smaller than .001mm)
  • Golloids are the smallest particles of clay

Soil Texture (continued)
  • Particles of soil larger than 2mm are considered
  • Can anyone tell what three types/kind of rock are
  • Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic

  • Igneous is produced from silicon
  • Sedimentary is produced from Calcium Carbon
  • Metamorphic produced by limestone, granite, and

Soil Factors
  • Soil texture can be determined easiest when it is
  • Sand is gritty when rubbed between the thumb and
    index finger.
  • Silt feels floury and velvety.
  • Clay usually forms lumps or clods when dry, and
    is usually like plastic and sticky when wet.

Soil Factors
  • Coarse- Textured Soil soil is loose, very
    friable, and individual sand grains can be seen
    or felt. This is sand-box sand.
  • Moderately Coarse- Textured Soil soil is gritty
    but contains enough silt and clay to make moist
    soil form a mold.

Soil Factors
  • Medium- Textured soil may feel slightly gritty,
    smooth or velvety when moist. The soil can form a
    mold that will retain shape but will not ribbon.
  • Moderately- Textured soil usually breaks into
    clods or lumps when dry. This soil will ribbon
    when moist however, the ribbon will tend to
    break and flex downward.

Soil Factors
  • Fine- Textured soil will form very hard lumps or
    clods when dry, but will be plastic and sticky
    when wet. The soil will ribbon and it will
    support itself.

Soil Structure
  • Soil Structure refers to the layers found in
    soil. The combinations of particles or
    arrangement of them.
  • Levels of the soil are expressed as horizons.
  • These horizons are the structure, and when they
    are viewed they are Soil Profiles.

Soil Structure (continued)
  • O Horizon - The top, organic layer of soil, made
    up mostly of leaf litter and humus (decomposed
    organic matter).
  • A Horizon - The layer called topsoil it is found
    below the O horizon and above the E horizon.
    Seeds germinate and plant roots grow in this
    dark-colored layer. It is made up of humus
    (decomposed organic matter) mixed with mineral
  • E Horizon - This eluviation (leaching) layer is
    light in color this layer is beneath the A
    Horizon and above the B Horizon. It is made up
    mostly of sand and silt, having lost most of its
    minerals and clay as water drips through the soil
    (in the process of eluviation)..

Soil Structure (continued)
  • B Horizon - Also called the subsoil - this layer
    is beneath the E Horizon and above the C Horizon.
    It contains clay and mineral deposits (like iron,
    aluminum oxides, and calcium carbonate) that it
    receives from layers above it when mineralized
    water drips from the soil above.
  • C Horizon - Also called regolith the layer
    beneath the B Horizon and above the R Horizon. It
    consists of slightly broken-up bedrock. Plant
    roots do not penetrate into this layer very
    little organic material is found in this layer.
  • R Horizon - The unweathered rock (bedrock) layer
    that is beneath all the other layers

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Science and Agriculture
  • Science is the study of or the explanation of
    natural phenomena.
  • Agriculture is the most important of all sciences
    because we depend on agriculture for basic
    survival needs.
  • With out soil there would be no plants, with out
    plants there would be no animals, and you are an

Growing plants
  • Plants provide our food with food, us with food,
    and clothing.
  • But what else do plants provide us with?
  • Medicines, vaccines, antibodies LIFE!

The Importance of Plants in Our Daily Lives
  • Plants provide us with the basis of survival.
  • Wheat and Barley are among the oldest known
    cultivated crops.
  • Plants can thrive without people and animals
    however, people and animals can NOT survive
    without plants.
  • Plants provide us with food, oxygen, fossil
    fuels, and prevent the erosion of soil.

Importance of Plants (continued)
  • Herbivores consume approximately 10 of the plant
    biomass produced in a typical food chain.
  • Carnivores capture and consume about 10 of the
    energy stored by the herbivores.

The Significance of the Binomial System of Naming
  • There are over 500,000 different recognized
    plants in the world.
  • The Binomial System was developed by Carolus

The Significance of the Binomial System of Naming
Plants (continued)
  • First word is the genus
  • Second word is the species
  • Third word is the authority of abbreviation

The Four Major Plant Parts
  • Roots
  • Stems
  • Leaves
  • Flowers

Plant Root
  • Underground parts of most plants
  • Absorb water and minerals
  • Store starch as food reserve
  • Anchor the plant

Root Systems
  • Taproots have a dominant main segment and are a
    characteristic of many dicot plants
  • Fibrous roots have no dominant segment

The Function of Root Hairs
  • Root hairs are found behind the root cap
  • They absorb moisture and minerals which are
    conducted to the larger roots and stem of the

Root Hairs
Root Hairs
  • Act as channels through which water and
    photosynthetic food products pass.
  • Stems may be above or below ground

Above Ground Stems
  • Small Stems carrots and dandelion
  • Climbing Stems ivy and pod beans
  • Creeping Stems (Stolons) bentgrass

Below Ground Stems
  • Tubers potatoes
  • Bulbs tulip and crocus
  • Rhizomes zoysiagrass

  • Make Food for the Plant

The Function of the Phloem
  • Phloem is active in conducting photosynthetic
    sugars from the leaves to the root

The Function of the Xylem
  • The xylem conducts water and minerals from the
    soil to above ground plant parts

Monocots and Dicots
  • Plants having a single cotyledon (seed leaf) are
  • Plants having more than one cotyledon
  • Student Assignment Compare and contrast the
    difference in seed leafs between corn and green

Types of Leaf Arrangements
The Function of the Stoma
  • Stomas are openings within the epidermis
  • They allow air to enter the leaf and water vapor
    and oxygen to move out

The Function of the Guard Cell
  • One of the two epidermal cells in a plant leaf
  • Guard Cells enclose a stome

The Function of the Chloroplasts
  • Chloroplasts are plastids containing chlorophyll
  • Absorb energy of light
  • Separate H (hydrogen) from 02 (oxygen) in a
    molecule of H2 O (water)

  • Opposite of Photosynthesis
  • Respiration is the release of energy from a plant
    that was captured and stored by photosynthesis
  • Equation of Respiration
  • C6H1206 6H2O 6O2 6CO2 12H2O energy

  • Transpiration is the upward pull of water started
    by the evaporation of molecules

  • Photosynthesis is the process by which green
    plants manufacture food
  • Light Energy (solar) is converted to chemical
  • Photosynthesis Equation
  • 6CO2 6H2O sunlight C6H12O6 6O2

  • Protection (sepals are the outer most part of the
    flower that protect its internal parts).
  • Pollination (petals attract insects with nectar)
  • Fertilization (stamens male, pistil female)

Parts of Flowers
  • Flowers are important in making seeds.
  • Flowers can be made up of different parts, but
    there are some parts that are basic equipment.
  • The main flower parts are the male part called
    the stamen and the female part called the pistil

Parts of Flowers
  • Other parts of the flower that are important are
    the petals and sepals.
  • Petals attract pollinators and are usually the
    reason why we buy and enjoy flowers.
  • The sepals are the green petal-like parts at the
    base of the flower.
  • Sepals help protect the developing bud.

Parts of Flowers
  • Flowers can have either all male parts, all
    female parts, or a combination.
  • Flowers with all male or all female parts are
    called imperfect (cucumbers, pumpkin and melons).
  • Flowers that have both male and female parts are
    called perfect (roses, lilies, dandelion).

Parts of Flowers
  • A complete flower has a stamen, a pistil, petals,
    and sepals.
  • An incomplete flower is missing one of the four
    major parts of the flower, the stamen, pistil,
    petals, or sepals.

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Parts of Flowers
  • The stamen has two parts anthers and filaments.
  • The anthers carry the pollen.
  • These are generally yellow in color.
  • Anthers are held up by a thread-like part called
    a filament.

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Parts of Flowers
  • The pistil has three parts stigma, style, and
  • The stigma is the sticky surface at the top of
    the pistil it traps and holds the pollen.
  • The style is the tube-like structure that holds
    up the stigma.
  • The style leads down to the ovary that contains
    the ovules.

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Field Crops
  • Fabric of History

The History of Cotton
  • Scientists and historians have found shreds of
    cloth or written reference to cotton dating back
    at least seven-thousand years. 
  • The oldest discovery was made in a Mexican cave,
    where scientists unearthed bits and pieces of
    cotton bolls and cloth.

The History of Cotton
  • English colonists first cultivated cotton to make
    homespun clothing. Production significantly
    increased when the American Revolution cut off
    supplies of European cloth, but the real
    expansion of production came with the rising
    demand for raw cotton from the British textile
    industry. This led to the development of an
    efficient cotton gin as a tool for removing seeds
    from cotton fibers in 1793.
  • The breeding of superior strains from Mexican
    cotton and the opening of western lands further
    expanded production.

Revolutionizing the Cotton Industry
  • Eli Whitney saw the need for a faster means of
    removing the lint (cotton fibers) from the seed. 
    In 1793, he patented a machine known as the
    cotton gin. 
  • This invention revolutionized the way lint was
    separated from the seed.  Up to that time, for
    centuries, the separation process had all been
    done by hand. 
  • With Whitney's gin, short for the word engine,
    lint volume was increased for each worker from 1
    lb. To 50 lbs. per day.

The Cotton Belt
  • The Cotton Belt spans the southern half of the
    Unites States, from Virginia to California.
  • Cotton is grown in 17 states and is a major crop
    in 14.

Economic Impact
  • Cotton was, above all, a crucial factor in the
    nation's economic development.
  • Production rose from 2 million pounds in 1791 to
    a billion pounds in 1860 by 1840, the United
    States was producing over 60 percent of the
    world's cotton.
  • The economic boom in the cotton South attracted
    migrants, built up wealth among the free
    inhabitants, encouraged capitalization of
    investments like railroads, and facilitated
    territorial expansion.

Economic Impact
  • The crop comprised more than half the total value
    of domestic exports in the period 1815-1860, and
    in 1860, earnings from cotton paid for 60 percent
    of all imports.
  • Cotton also built up domestic capital, attracted
    foreign investment, and contributed to the
    industrial growth of the North.

Economical Impact
  • Slavery contributed, but was not essential in the
    success of cotton production.

Economical Impact
  • By the 1830s, the South's political
    economyresting on cotton and slaveswas a key
    factor in sectional tension between North and
  • Although slavery was not necessary for growing
    cotton (three-quarters of southern whites held no
    slaves, and much of the South's cotton was
    produced by free workers), southern whites
    assumed that slavery was an efficient method of
    increasing production, and they wanted to take
    slaves wherever cotton might be grown.

Economical Impact
  • Out of the disarray that followed emancipation,
    southern landowners constructed new forms of
    servitudetenantry and sharecropping. These
    coercive institutions (involving the extension of
    goods or credit to rural inhabitants in exchange
    for their labor) controlled poor whites as well
    as newly freed blacks.
  • Rural poverty, overproduction, and the resulting
    low prices for cotton all contributed to the
    South's postwar stagnation. The region's woes
    increased after 1894 with the arrival of the boll
    weevil, which savaged cotton crops.

  • The cotton crop is a major consumer of
    pesticides, with generally around 10 of the
    end-user market value, which in 1994 amounted to
    US2,550 million
  • The most important insecticides, those with a
    minimum 5 share of the market, were
    deltamethrin, (12), lambda-cyhalothrin (9),
    monocrotophos (9), alpha-cypermethrin (8),
    chlorpyriphos-ethyl (7), esfenvalerate (7),
    methamidophos (6) and dimethoate (5).
  • The other 46 of the market is dispersed between
    insecticides such as azinphos-methyl, diazinon,
    dimethoate, EPN, malathion, parathion,
    phosphamidon, quinalphos, bifenthrin,
    beta-cyfluthrin, esfenvalerate, tralomethrin,
    aldicarb, carbaryl, carbofuran, fenobucarb,
    methomyl and thiodicarb

Fertilization Requirements
  • More than any other nutrient, N can increase or
    decrease yields of cotton. Apply too little N,
    and yields drop sharply.
  • The recommended rate of N ranges from 50 to 70
    pounds N per acre.
  • The best rate for a particular field depends on
    soil texture, the previous crop, expected
    rainfall patterns or irrigation, and grower
    experience in that field.

Fertilization Requirements
  • Potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) are two
    macronutrients required for cotton production.
  • Cotton yield or quality can be impacted if
    sufficient amounts of either nutrient are not
    available for plant uptake.
  • Potassium plays a pivotal role in lint
    development and P is essential for energy
    transfer within the cotton plant.

Harvesting Cotton
White or Yellow Bloom
Pink Bloom
Boll Beginning to Open
Fully Open Boll
Harvesting Cotton
  • Approximately 45-60 days after planting,
    depending on temperature, the cotton begins to
  • Cotton first produces a small square, which
    produces a white bloom.
  • The white bloom turns pink after one day and then
    falls off as the bolls develop.
  • Approximately 30 days (again depending on
    temperature) after bloom, the boll is mature but
    not open.
  • Under normal weather patterns, an open boll ready
    for harvest is produced approximately 65 days
    after bloom.

Crop Rotation
  • A rotation crop that is profitable in one area
    may be economically unsuitable in another, so
    rotation recommendations must be evaluated with
    due consideration of local experience.
  • Producers estimated their cotton lint yields
    increased from 150-400 pounds per acre the first
    year following corn crop rotation.
  • Nitrogen fertilizer applications were reduced by
    25 pounds nitrogen per acre for cotton following
    soybeans and 20 pounds per acre following corn.

  • The soybean is one of the oldest cultivated
  • Soybeans originated and were first grown in
    northeastern China. The first record dates back
    to 2838 BC.
  • Soybeans first appeared in Europe in the 17th
    century, and in the United States in 1804.

  • Little attention was given to soybean as a crop
    until 1898 when the USDA imported a large number
    of varieties for research.
  • Since that time, there has been rapid expansion
    in soybean production, particularly since 1920.
  • Most soybeans were grown in the South prior to
    1924, then it began to assume importance in the
    Corn Belt.

Uses of Soybeans
  • Soybean meal is used as a high-protein supplement
    in mixed feed rations for livestock. It is also
    used in plastics, glue, and water paints.
  • Soybean oil is used in the production of
    candles, biodiesel, disinfectants, electric
    insulation, enamels, insecticides, linoleum, ink,
    varnish, and soap.
  • For consumption purposes, soybean is used in
    vegetable oil, soy milk and curd, various soy
    sauces, fermented products, and bean sprouts.

Economic Importance
  • Soybean is the fourth largest crop in the world
    grown on an average of 194 million acres in
    2000-2003. World production averaged about 6.5
    billion bushels or 34 bushels per acre.
  • The United States is the world leader in
    soybeans, producing over 1/3 of the global
  • Other major soybean-producing countries are
    Brazil, Argentina, China, and India.

World Production 2001

Economic Importance in the US
  • In 2000-2003, soybean ranked 1st in area among US
    crops with about 73 million acres.
  • Production averaged about 2.7 billion bushels
    with an average yield of about 37 bushels per
  • Soybean is growing in popularity faster than any
    other crop. US production has rose from less
    than 5 million bushels in 1924, to 1.5 billion
    bushels in 1973, to 2.4 billion bushels in 2003.
  • The leading states in soybean production are
    Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, and Nebraska.

Production in Arkansas
  • Arkansas ranks 8th in US production.
  • Grown in over 50 of the states 75
    counties, but most is concentrated in the eastern

  • Over 10,000 varieties worldwide.
  • The most common early maturing varieties are
    Hutheson, DynaGrow 3796, Brim, and Bryan. They
    produce high yields on productive soil.
  • The most common late maturing varieties are
    Haskell, DP 3733, NKS 83-30, and Cook. They
    produce high yields and are widely accepted.
  • Other new varieties such as Sencor, Lexone,
    Canopy, Roundup Ready, STS, Synchrony, and
    Pinnacle express tolerance to herbicides.

  • The climatic requirements for soybean are about
    the same as those for corn.
  • Soybean will withstand short periods or drought
    after the plants are well established.
  • In general, combinations of high temperature and
    low precipitation are unfavorable. Soybean seed
    produced under high-temperature conditions tend
    to be low in oil and oil quality.
  • Soybean is sensitive to over irrigation, poor
    soil drainage can reduce yields.
  • A average midsummer temperature of 75 to 77
    degrees F is optimum for all varieties. Lower
    temperatures tend to delay flowering.

  • Soybean is less susceptible to frost injury than
    corn. Light frosts have little effect on the
    plants when they are young or nearly mature. The
    minimum temperature for growth is about 50
    degrees F. At least 90 frost-free days are
    needed to adequately mature the crop.
  • Soybean grows on nearly all types of soil, but it
    is especially productive on fertile loams. It is
    better adapted to low fertility soils than corn,
    provided the proper nitrogen-fixing bacteria are
    present. It will also grow on soils that are too
    acidic for alfalfa and red clover.

Fertilizer Recommendations
  • A soil test should be done to determine the needs
    of soybeans and other crops in the rotation.
  • The optimum pH level is 6.0 to 6.5, but may
    tolerate soil pH as low as 5.2.
  • A nitrogen deficiency requires about 20 lb/acre.
    Soil very low in phosphorus requires P2O5 at a
    rate of 20 to 40 lb/acre.
  • Potassium application is recommended where soil
    tests indicate less than 200 to 250 lb/acre of
  • Sulfur or certain micronutrients are not applied
    to soybean fields except on strongly weathered,
    coarse-textured alkaline or organic soils.

  • Soybean is often grown in short rotations with
    corn, cotton, and small grains. As a full-season
    crop, it can occupy any place in a rotation where
    corn is used.
  • Soybean usually performs best when following a
    grass crop such as corn or grain sorghum. Yields
    of soybean are 5 to 15 higher following corn due
    primarily to less disease.
  • Rotation should not follow wheat, as yields will
    be about 15 to 39 lower because of the shorter
    growing season.

Pest Management
  • The three types of insect pests found in soybeans
  • 1. Foliage feeders, which comprise the
    biggest group of insect pests,2. Pod feeders,
    which are probably the most detrimental to yield,
    and3. Stem, root and seedling feeders, which are
    often the hardest to sample and are not detected
    until after they have caused damage.
  • The best controlled with cultural and biological
    practices. Insecticides should be used as a last
    resort only.

Disease Management
  • Most common diseases in soybeans are
  • -Soybean Rust
  • -Stem Canker
  • -Sudden Death Syndrome
  • -Charcoal Rot
  • -Phytophthora Root Rot
  • -Pod and Stem Blight
  • -Southern Blight

Disease Management
  • Correct disease identification is by far the
    single most important disease management
  • Good crop management promotes plant health and
    vigorous growth which enable the soybean plant to
    be more tolerant to most disease- causing
    organisms and often escape yield-limiting damage.
  • Planting resistant soybean varieties is the most
    efficient and least expensive disease management
  • Foliar fungicides do not increase soybean yields,
    but they may protect your crop against yield loss
    and may improve seed quality.

  • Optimum planting dates for soybeans are May 5
    through July 5, although early maturing varieties
    can be planted prior to those dates in southern
    states. Soybeans are usually harvested between
    Oct. 15 and Nov. 20.
  • Soybean for seed is harvested most efficiently
    when the moisture content of the seeds drops to
    12. Later harvesting increases shattering
    losses, as well as splitting of the overly dry
    beans in threshing. The minimized split beans,
    the cylinder speed of the combine should be
    operated at 300 to 450 revolutions per minute.
  • Soybean at 13 moisture can be combined directly
    without windrowing and stored without drying.

  • Soybean can be cut for hay anytime from pod
    formation until the leaves begin to fall.
  • The best quality of hay is obtained when the
    seeds are about half developed.
  • Soybean is difficult to cure because the thick
    stems dry out slowly. Very few soybean fields
    are cut for hay except after a disaster that
    prevents the crop from maturity.

  • Seeds should be stored at no more than 13
    moisture. If the crop will be stored for more
    than one year, moisture should be 11 or less.
  • When artificially dried in storage, air
    temperatures should be 130 to 140 degrees F.
  • Seeds should not be stirred during drying to
    avoid cracking the seed coat.
  • Aeration is necessary to maintain seed
    temperature at 35 to 40 degrees F in winter and
    40 to 60 degrees F in summer.
  • Soybean that will be planted should not be stored
    more than one year because of germination loss
    during storage.



  • The oldest Condiment

  • One of the first domesticated crops
  • Economic value resulted in its wide dispersal
  • Grown as a herb in Asia, North Africa, Europe
    for thousands of years
  • In about 1300, the name mustard was given to
    the condiment made by mixing mustum, which is
    fermented grape juice, with ground mustard.

  • The French people are the largest consumers of
  • World-wide people consume about 1.5 lbs per year.
  • Today, French law regulates the ingredients in
  • Example Dijon mustard may only be made of brown

Economic Importance
  • Mustard has been a major specialty crop in North
    America since supplies from Western Europe were
    interrupted by WWII.
  • California and Montana were major production
    areas until early 1950s.
  • Production of mustard in the Upper Midwest began
    in the 1960s.

Economic Importance
  • Mustard is currently grown on approximately
    250,000 acres annually in U.S.
  • North Dakota has the largest share of production
    in the U.S.
  • Canadian production increased for 20 years until
    it peaked in mid 1980s.
  • The French buy approx. 70 of the annual Canadian
  • Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan currently
    grow a large scale of the worlds mustard.

Mustard Varieties
  • Most common mustards grown in U.S. are Yellow,
    Brown, and Oriental.
  • Yellow mustard comprises about 90 of the crop
    grown in the Upper Midwest.
  • Brown and Oriental mustards are grown on limited
    acres and produced in rotation with small grains.

Varieties of Mustard
  • Mustard is a cool season crop that can be grown
    in a short season.
  • Yellow mustard usually matures in 80-85 days and
    Brown and Oriental in 90-95 days.
  • Seedlings are somewhat tolerant to frost after
    emergence, but severe frost can destroy entire
  • Brown and Oriental mustards have partial drought
    tolerance between that of wheat and rapeseed.
  • Moisture stress caused by hot, dry conditions
    during flowering frequently causes lower yields.

  • Mustard can be raised on variable soil types with
    good drainage, but is best adapted to fertile,
    well-drained, loamy soils.
  • Soils prone to crusting prior to seedling
    emergence can cause problems.
  • This crop will not tolerate waterlogged soils
    since growth will be stunted.
  • Dry sand and dry, sandy loam soils should be

Mustard Growth Habit
  • Seedlings emerge rapidly, but then usually grow
  • Plants cover the ground in 4 to 5 days with
    favorable moisture and temperature conditions.
  • Flower buds are visible about 5 weeks after
  • Yellow flowers begin to appear 7 to 10 days later
    and continue blooming for a longer period with
    adequate water supply.
  • A longer flowering period increases yield

Mustard Plant
Crop Rotations
  • A small grain crop following mustard in the
    rotation will usually yield more than when
    following continuous small grain.
  • Mustard has several of the same diseases and
    insect pests as flax, canola, sweet clover,
    soybeans, field peas, and sunflowers and should
    be avoided in the same rotation as mustard.
  • Mustard should be in rotation with cereal grains
    since they do not have common pest and diseases.

Fertilizer Recommendations
  • Soil test should be used to determine nutrient
  • Optimal soil test levels are about 15 to 20 ppm
    Bray P, and 80 to 100 ppm K. At these levels a
    rate of about 45 lbs/acre P2O5 and 80 lb/acre
  • When fertilizer is banded, the bands should be
    placed below and to the side of the seed furrow.
  • Mustard responds well to nitrogen additions with
    optimum yields occurring at about 100 to 120
    lbs/acre N.

Weed Control
  • Weeds can greatly reduce mustard yields.
  • Good weed control is based on preparation of a
    clean field and shallow seeding to encourage
    quick emergence.
  • Control of perennial weeds such as Canadian
    thistle, field bindweed, and quick grass should
    be started in the fall or prior to planting in
    the spring.
  • You may control these weeds by applying Roundup
    before the last killing frost in the fall.
  • Mustard is sensitive to broadleaf herbicides like
    2,4-D and MCPA and should be avoided if possible.

Pest Control
  • Growers should monitor fields closely to detect
    insect problems that can cause high yield losses.
  • Flea Beetles and caterpillars of the diamondback
    moth are the most serious pest.
  • Malathion EC and Sevin are the most effective in
    killing Flea Beetles and caterpillars if used
  • Consult local Extension bulletins for further
    information on the control of other pest.

  • When harvesting mustard the pod should not be
    open. This causes shattering and great yield
  • Yellow mustard is a harder seed and may be
    combined if the crop has matured uniformly and is
    free from green weeds. If crop is weedy or uneven
    it should be swathed.
  • When crop is being swathed the seed has turned
    yellow-green and should be cut just beneath the
    head of the lowest seed pod.

  • Brown and Oriental varieties shatter more readily
    and therefore, need to be swathed.
  • Swathing should begin when leaves drop and crop
    has turned from green to yellow or brown.
  • About 75 have reached maturity when turned
    yellow or brown. The green seed usually will turn
    yellow or brown in the swath before combining.

  • Swathing should be done under conditions of high
    humidity and dew on the pods. This keeps seeds
    from shattering.
  • The combine should be adjusted so seeds are
    threshed at lowest cylinder speed, which 600
  • Cylinder speed may need to be adjusted during the
    day as crop moisture content may vary.

  • Make sure bin is free of holes and cracks!
  • When mustard seed reaches a moisture content of
    10 or less it can be safely stored.
  • Air temperatures for seed drying should not
    exceed 150F, and seed temperature should be
    below 120F.
  • Seed must be handled carefully to prevent
    cracking. If this happens it can be a costly
    dockage to the farmer.

  • Sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris) growing for sucrose
    production became successful in the United States
    starting about 1870.
  • Earlier attempts at sugarbeet production were not
    totally successful.
  • Once a viable industry was established,
    sugarbeets were grown in 26 states.

  • About 1,400,000 acres were produced in 14 states
    in 1990.
  • Russia leads worldwide production of sugarbeets
    with nearly 8,500,000 acres.

  • Sugarbeets are used primarily for production of
    sucrose, a high energy pure food.
  • Sugarbeet pulp and molasses are processing
    by-products widely used as feed supplements for
  • These products provide required fiber in rations
    and increase the palatability of feeds.

Growth Habits
  • Sugarbeet is a biennial plant which was developed
    in Europe in the 18th century from white fodder
  • Sugar reserves are stored in the sugarbeet root
    during the first growing season for an energy
    source during overwintering.
  • The roots are harvested for sugar at the end of
    the first growing season.

Growth Habits
  • The plant has a taproot system
    that utilizes water
    and soil nutrients
    to depths of 5 to 8 ft.

Economic Importance
  • Total direct impacts from sugarbeet production in
    Minnesota and North Dakota were estimated to be
    676 per acre or 374.6 million.
  • In 1998, sugarbeets generated a gross farm
    income of approximately 200 million, or slightly
    more than 6 of gross farm receipts in Idaho.

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  • American Crystal Sugar Company, Moorhead,
    Minnesota conducts the most comprehensive variety
    trials in the United States.
  • These evaluations are used to establish a list of
    approved varieties which insures the use of the
    most productive varieties to maximize returns to
    the growers and sugar companies.

Crop Rotation
  • Yields and quality usually are highest when
    sugarbeets follow barley or wheat in the crop
  • Three years research in Minnesota indicated
    sugarbeet yielded significantly less when
    following soybeans versus barley in rotation.

  • Sugarbeets are harvested in late September and
  • A mechanical defoliator is used to remove all
    the foliage from the beet root prior to lifting.
  • The harvesters remove most of the soil from the
    beets prior to loading them on trucks.

Sweet Clover
  • White and yellow sweet clover are native to the
    Mediterranean region, central Europe, and Asia.
  • They were brought to the United States in the
    1600s as a forage crop for livestock and for
    honey production.
  • They are now found in all 50 states and are used
    as a soil builder because of their nitrogen
    fixing capability. They are also planted as a
    wildlife cover.

  • Generally, the cultivated forms of sweet clover
    are biennial however, there are both annual and
    biennial types.
  • In the central United States, the biennial types
    are most important.
  • The two principal types are white sweet clover
    and yellow sweet clover

  • White blossom sweet clover includes the varieties
    Denta and Polara
  • The most common yellow blossoms of sweet clover
    include Madrid, Goldtop, and Yukon.
  • Yellow sweet clover is earlier, fine stemmed,
    usually less productive for forage and more
    dependable for seed that white sweet clover.

White and yellow sweet clover
Uses and Management
  • Sweet clover may be used for hay or pasture or as
    a plow-down crop.
  • By far its greatest use and adaptation is as a
    pasture- and soil-improving crop
  • No other legume will provide as much grazing as
    sweet clover during the spring and summer of its
    second year

Uses and Management
  • The amount of grazing it will furnish in its
    seeding year depends upon its companion crop
  • If seeded with a small grain that is harvested
    for grain, little forage production can be
  • If the grain is pastured or otherwise seeded with
    less competition, some first year pasturage can
    be expected.
  • In general, it can be pastured once it reaches a
    height of 12 to 14 inches if close grazing is

Uses and Management
  • Sweet clover should not be grazed during
    September and early October when it is producing
    winter root reserves.
  • Sweet clover is not as palatable as most other
    legumes because of its high coumerin content.
  • Livestock soon get used to its taste and consume
    it readily. There is less danger from bloat with
    sweet clover than with alfalfa, red clover, or
    alsike, but some possibility does ecist

Uses and Management
  • As a soil-improving crop, sweet clover probably
    has no equal. It has a deep taproot system that
    penetrates the subsoil, produces a large amount
    of growth that can be quickly broken down and
    converted to organic matter and fixes high levels
    of nitrogen on heavy clay soils.
  • Sweet clover is also attractive to pollinating
    insects such as honeybees and assists in the
    production of honey and honey by-products.

The  honey is white or nearly white.   Nectar is
secreted freely and if in the vicinity of a sweet
clover field, the aroma of the plant will surely
get your attention.   In the 1940's and 50's,
Northwest Ohio, sweet clover was grown for seed
and fields of it could be seen for miles.  It was
not unusual for a hive of honey bees to produce
200 pounds of honey from clover alone.
Pest Management
  • Sweet clover may be attacked by a number of
    diseases including damping-off, root rot and
    crown rot, stem rots and leaf diseases.
  • The incidences of these diseases are usually
    light on forage stands and slightly heavier on
    seed stands. While these diseases damage the
    plant and negatively influence productivity, they
    are not normally considered a serious problem

Pest Management
  • The sweet clover weevil is this crops main pest.
  • The weevil chews the leaves of seedlings or
    second-year stands in the spring and, to a lesser
    extent, in late summer.
  • Damage is likely to be most severe in years when
    growth is slow.
  • The Weevil can be controlled through the use of
    insecticides, by tilling of second-year fields as
    soon as harvested, and by locating new stands as
    far as possible from established fields of sweet

  • Sweet clover has an extreme range of adaptation
  • About the only consistent requirement is one of
    high pH. Sweet clover needs a high pH of about
    6.0 or higher for proper nodulation to occur. It
    has a higher calcium requirement as well.
  • Sweet clover is able to obtain phosphorus from
    relatively unavailable soil phosphates and will
    grow on soils where alfalfa, red clover, or
    ladino will fail.
  • Except for its high lime requirements, it is
    similar to lespedeza, which tolerates very low
    fertility conditions.

  • Sweet clover normally sets and abundance of seed.
    However, the somewhat indeterminate habitat of
    growth and the lose attachment of the mature pods
    on the rachis (stem), result in heavy loss of
    ripe pods before and during harvest.
  • Highest yields of good quality seed are obtained
    by windrowing the crop when 50 to 60 percent of
    the pods have turned brown, black or white.
  • Cutting should be done when the plants are tough
    damp from dew or rain.
  • After a brief period of curing (several days to a
    week), the windrow is picked up and threshed. Use
    a low cylinder speed and wide clearance of
    concaves to avoid shelled or broken seed

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  • Buckwheat is a grain that has been eaten for
    hundreds of years in the Far East. China, Japan,
    Korea, and other Asian countries have long
    enjoyed noodles made from buckwheat flour.
  • Buckwheat can also be used for a variety of baked
    products, including pancakes, breads, muffins,
    crackers, bagels, cookies, and tortillas among
    others .

  • Buckwheat (Fagopyrum sagittatum Gilib) has been
    grown in America since colonial days, and the
    crop once was common on farms in the northeastern
    and north central United States.
  • Production reached a peak in 1866 at which time
    the grain was a common livestock-feed and was in
    demand for making flour. By the mid 1960's the
    acreage had declined to about 50,000 acres.

  • Because little breeding work has been done on
    buckwheat, there are only a handful of varieties
    that are grown in the United States.
  • Dr. Harold Penn State University did much of the
    variety improvement work in the 1960's to 1980's

  • Mancan Large-seeded diploid variety. Has low
    test weight but good market acceptability.
    Released by Agriculture Canada and licensed in
  • Manor Large-seeded diploid variety. Has low test
    weight but good market acceptability. Released by
    Agriculture Canada and licensed in 1980.
    Production of certified seed is limited to

  • Buckwheat grows best where the climate is moist
    and cool. It can be grown rather far north and at
    high altitudes, because its growing period is
    short (10 to 12 weeks) and its heat requirements
    for development are low.
  • The crop is extremely sensitive to unfavorable
    weather conditions and is killed quickly by
    freezing temperatures both in the spring and
    fall. High temperatures and dry weather at
    blooming time may cause blasting of flowers and
    prevent seed formation.

  • Generally, buckwheat seeding is timed so that the
    plants will bloom and set seed when hot, dry
    weather is over. Often seeding is delayed until
    three months prior to the first killing frost in
    the fall.
  • Buckwheat grows on a wide range of soil types and
    fertility levels. It produces a better crop than
    other grains on infertile, poorly drained soils
    if the climate is moist and cool.
  • Buckwheat has higher tolerance to soil acidity
    than any other grain crop. It is best suited to
    light to medium textured, well-drained soils such
    as sandy loams, loams and silt loams. It does not
    grow well in heavy, wet soils or in soils that
    contain high levels of limestone.

  • Buckwheat has a modest feeding capacity compared
    to most other grains, and if fertilizer is not
    applied, the removal of nutrients by a buckwheat
    crop may have a depressing effect on the yield of
    the following crop.
  • Typical nutrient removals by the grain for a 1200
    lb/a crop are 9 lb/a N, 3 lb/a P2O5 and 12 lb/a

  • Serious diseases affecting other dicot field
    crops have not been important in buckwheat
    therefore the volunteer plant problem is the main
    problem in crop sequences.
  • Volunteer sunflower, rapeseed, mustard, and corn
    can be serious weeds in buckwheat planted before
    June 15.
  • Volunteer buckwheat can be a problem in crops
    following buckwheat, but herbicides will control
    these in most crops.

  • A firm seedbed is best for successful buckwheat
    production because of its relatively small seed
    size and its shallow root system.
  • A firm seedbed facilitates absorption of
    nutrients essential for rapid growth, and tends
    to reduce losses from drought.
  • If soil has been plowed for a previous crop
    which has failed, only disking or harrowing may
    be required..

  • The best practice is to direct combine when the
    maximum number of seeds have matured (75 of seed
    brown or black) and the plants have lost most of
    their leaves.
  • When immature plants are harvested, green seeds
    and moist fragments of the plants may cause
    difficulties in storing the grain.
  • However, considerable grain loss from shattering
    may occur if the crop is left standing,
    especially after a killing frost.

  • Cylinder speed (about 650 RPM) and cylinder
    concave clearance (1/8-1/2 in.) of the combine
    should be set to prevent excessive cracking and
    breaking of the grain. Losses and broken kernels
    should be checked to refine combine adjustments.
  • Proper selection of the sieves and adjustment of
    the chaffer and air settings are also important
    to insure minimal losses. Sieve openings of 1/4
    to 3/8 in. are suggest
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