Discover How to Grow Grains
WHY UNDERSTAND GRAINS?
Cereals, pulses (like beans), and fake grains are covered in this subject (e.g. quinoa).
- Discover the many varieties of grains.
- Improve your selection of species and cultivars to grow.
- For better harvests, grow better crops utilising better practises.
Cereals, pulses (like beans), and fake grains are covered in this subject (e.g. quinoa).
Worldwide, farming is a large component, and grains are an important food for both human and animal consumption. This is a fairly extensive industry that includes dozens of other grain crops in addition to the more popular grains, like wheat and rice (e.g. amaranth and soybeans).
Grain production on a vast scale and with a lot of mechanisation is done on very large farms all over the world. The production of many staple foods occurs in this manner. Though by no means the only method, this can be used to cultivate grains.
Success in grain cultivation, whether on a small or large scale, is always based on the following conditions:
- good germination rate and high-quality seed
- Defend seeds from insects and disease
- good seedbed preparation
- adequate soil nourishment
- Sowing at the right time under ideal climatic, moisture, and temperature conditions
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Introduction to grains
- Cereal/grain infrastructure and machinery requirements
- Wheat, triticale, spelt, barley, oats, rye.
- Maize, Sorghum, millet
- Pulse crops
- Pseudo cereals
- Processing grains for human consumption
- Grains for livestock consumption
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school’s tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
- Classify significant current and emerging grains or cereals farmed around the world, and describe the large- and small-scale production processes used for producing, harvesting, and storing grains in various nations.
- Identify key farm buildings, machinery, supplies, and natural resources needed for the successful cultivation of cereal and grain crops.
- The qualities and production methods of the main “cool season” cereals, including wheat, triticale, spelt, barley, oats, and rye, should be discussed and compared.
- Explain and contrast the characteristics and farming practises of the three main “warm season” cereals: maize, sorghum, and millet.
- Provide an explanation of the various production methods employed within each of the four main habitats where rice is grown.
- The production methods and applications of significant cool- and warm-season pulse crops farmed worldwide are described and compared.
- Explain the development of “non-grasses” like chia, quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat that are currently available or are on the verge of becoming significant “cereals.”
- Examine the numerous sales techniques in use and describe the post-harvest handling, processing, and storage techniques for cereals intended for human consumption.
- Explain how essential warm- and cool-season grasses that are utilised for forage and livestock feed are produced.
- Explain how to store, prepare, and sell cereals for use in livestock, and show how to calculate some example stock feeds.
To get the best yield and quality from the harvest, grains must be harvested at the proper stage of their growth cycle. For thousands of years, subsistence farmers have manually harvested grain crops, and some still so today. However the majority of commercial grain crops will be gathered by machines. Large farming enterprises may own machine harvesters, but smaller operations may contract out the harvesting to someone who has the necessary equipment.
Harvesting the crop when it is at its best is one of the primary concerns. It is when the moisture content is at the highest permissible level but not so high as to compromise quality or storage.
Weather damage is another problem that might arise during harvest. Whenever rain falls on a ripe crop, crops are extremely sensitive to quality loss. Wind, hail, or heavy rain can cause crops to drop grain or shatter pods.
A windrower is frequently used to lay the crop on the ground to reduce the chance that pods will shatter from bad weather. As a general rule, pulse crops such as chickpeas weather quite well for a short period of time because the grain is protected inside a pod. However, with canola, the pods become very brittle when ripe and can shatter very easily.
Certain varieties of wheat can weather rather well, whereas barley has a relatively soft straw and can lodge (fall over) if too much rain falls onto a crop that is about to ripen. Because of this, farmers frequently have a grain storage facility. Keeping grains in storage can create a variety of marketing opportunities. Farmers can keep their harvests and sell them at a period when markets are priced more favourably if crop prices are not particularly favourable during harvest, which frequently occurs. In light of this, let’s examine some fundamental storage alternatives for a farmer of grains.
Silos are the most durable way to store grains. Some silos have flat bottoms, but most are huge steel cylinder structures with cone bases. The cone base facilitates the flow of grain into a hopper at the bottom of the silo, where an auger can pump it onto a truck. Silos are a common feature of big grain farms (a number of silos for seed storage as well as grain storage during harvest). In order to operate grain dryers, silo complexes are typically powered.
When a farmer needs to harvest grain at a higher moisture content to get the crop out of the field—whether because bad weather is predicted or because there are large areas of crop that need to be harvested—grain dryers are used to reduce the moisture content to a level that is acceptable to the grain receiver.
Most contemporary silos have aerators installed. They are tiny fans that are attached to the silo’s base and push air upward. They aid in maintaining the grain’s quality by keeping the temperature steady. It is a good idea to conceive of grain as a living organism because poor storage conditions, such as high humidity levels, would destroy any grain preserved for seed viability. If you’re going to build new silos, grain dryers are an excellent investment because they are particularly good at keeping grain insect-free.
Silo bags are huge, bulky, sausage-like plastic bags that have a capacity of 220 tonnes for wheat. They can survive outdoors for up to 18 months. The grain must have the proper moisture content or it will sweat in the bag and become mouldy. They are especially handy for storing grain on the sides of fields after harvest. They are easy to use and work well for short-term storage, but if you place them on the edge of a field, you can have access problems when it comes time to unload them (as opposed to permanent silos that usually have a heavy gravel pad around them allowing for all weather access). They also need a specialised bag unloader, and if you intend to leave them in the field for an extended amount of time, you’ll need to surround them with an electric fence because pigs and other animals can tear them apart like a ladder in a stocking, which can result in significant grain loss.
Grain storage facilities are known as bunkers. Often a plastic tarp is used to cover bunkers, which are vast piles of grain placed on the ground or a cement slab (which is most desirable to reduce weather damage). Grain is typically transported out of bunkers as rapidly as possible because they are only used as a very short-term type of storage. Raised ground is great for bunker sites because it directs water away from the grain. The majority of farmers would have a grader build up this area, known as the pad, and pack the ground firmly.
Pest control for insects in grain storage
In stored grain, grain insects can grow swiftly provided the correct conditions are present. Temperatures of roughly 20°C or less are ideal for grain storage because most grain pests may multiply quickly at those levels. This may be challenging to accomplish in some areas, although silo aeration can help. It is frequently required to use a combination of protectants because grain insects in some countries have already evolved resistance to some chemical grain protectants.
The usage of protectants depends on the product’s withholding period, therefore in some cases they won’t be appropriate if grain needs to be sold within the withholding period. Protectants are intended to be applied to grain when it enters storage; they are not intended to be applied to grain that already has a noticeable insect infestation. We urge you to become familiar with the grain insects that are resistant. We also advise you to look into the primary grain pests in your country or region.
Grain is flattened or ground during milling, sometimes referred to as grist milling. In the past, mills were powered by water and wind; currently, most mills are electric steel roll mills. In order to shatter the grains, they are rolled between two steel rollers with roughened edges or teeth. The endosperm (white flour) is then separated from the bran layers and germ by sieving the grains. The endosperm is then processed once more until it reaches the appropriate level of fineness. To create brown and wholemeal flours, in some situations, bran layers and germ are additionally ground more finely and incorporated back into the endosperm powder.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS COURSE?
- Farmers and agricultural labourers
- Agricultural supply companies and related services
- Agricultural professionals and students
- Owners of small farms or hobby farms are thinking about developing “niche” crops
- Livestock managers and owners who seek to make animal feed
MORE COURSES IN AGRONOMY
This course will be followed by other agronomy courses, tentatively:
Agronomy -Fibre Crops
Agronomy – Oil Crops
Agronomy -Pulses (legumes)
Agronomy – Root Crops