This website contains the Alternative Field Crops Manual published in 1992. Its objective is to address the need for detailed information on the production of a number of agronomic crops adapted to the upper Midwest. The intent is to provide county extension agents and others in educational roles a concise, uniform source of information on those field crops which may be considered as alternatives to traditional farm commodities.

The manual is a joint project between the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Minnesota Extension Service and the Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products. Extension specialists from both states have written or reviewed each chapter to insure accuracy and applicability of information and recommendations.

Other websites with alternative crop information include:

Inclusion of a crop is for educational purposes only; no endorsement of any particular crop is implied. Individual growers should consider the following factors in determining whether a crop might be a viable alternative in their particular situation:

Market availability - Amount of demand for the product, market location and transportation to market.

Projected cost of production vs. projected yields and price.

Producer's resources - Land (suitable soil), irrigation capability, available labor, equipment, capital, and personal goals and interests.

Specific crop requirements and adaptation.

Further information may be available from: University of Wisconsin Cooperative or Extension Service, Department of Agronomy, Madison, WI 53706, Telephone (608)-262-1390, Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products, 340 Alderman Hall, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, Telephone (612)-625-5747.

Table Of Contents

Chapter Date Distributed   Chapter Date Distributed
Adzuki bean Nov. 1989   Kochia Nov. 1990
Amaranth Nov. 1989   Lentil July 1990
Broomcorn July 1990   Lupine Nov. 1989
Buckwheat Nov. 1989   Meadowfoam Nov. 1990
Canarygrass Nov. 1990   Millet July 1990
Canola or Rapeseed Nov. 1989   Mung bean July 1990
Castorbean July 1990   Mustard July 1991
Chick Pea July 1990   Peanut July 1991
Comfrey Jan. 1992   Popcorn Nov. 1989
Cool Season Grass Seed Production Nov. 1990   Psyllium Jan. 1992
Cow Pea July 1991   Quinoa Jan. 1992
Crambe July 1991   Rutabaga Jan. 1992
Fababean Nov. 1989   Rye Nov. 1990
Field bean (Drybean) July 1990   Safflower Jan. 1992
Field pea April 1991   Sesame July 1990
Flax Nov. 1989   Sorghum-forage Nov. 1990
Garbanzo bean ( see Chick Pea)     Sorghum-Syrup Nov. 1990
Ginseng Jan. 1992   Spelt July 1990
Grain Sorghum (Milo) Nov. 1989   Sugarbeet July 1991
Guar April 1991   Sunflower Nov. 1990
Hairy vetch Nov. 1990   Triticale Nov. 1989
Hop Nov. 1990   Turnip April 1991
Jerusalem Artichoke April 1991   Vernonia January 1992
Jojoba bean Nov. 1990   Wild Rice Jan. 1992
Kenaf April 1991        

Chapter Outline

I. History

II. Uses

III. Growth Habits

IV. Environment Requirements

A. Climate

B. Soil

C. Seed Preparation and Germination

V. Cultural Practices

A. Seedbed Preparation

B. Seeding Date

C. Method and Rate of Seeding

D. Fertility and Lime Requirements

E. Variety Selection

F. Weed Control

1. Mechanical

2. Chemical

G. Diseases and their Control

H. Insects and Other Predators and their Control

I. Harvesting

J. Drying and Storage

VI. Yield Potential and Performance Results

VII. Economics of Production and Markets

VIII. Information Sources

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