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ALTERNATIVE CROPS Prepared by Mr. Eddie McKie South Region Area Horticulture Teacher Georgia Department of Education For the Georgia Agricultural Education.

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Presentation on theme: "ALTERNATIVE CROPS Prepared by Mr. Eddie McKie South Region Area Horticulture Teacher Georgia Department of Education For the Georgia Agricultural Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 ALTERNATIVE CROPS Prepared by Mr. Eddie McKie South Region Area Horticulture Teacher Georgia Department of Education For the Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office May 2002 Modified by Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office June, 2002

2 Agriculture is defined as the activities concerned with the production of plants and animals. Horticulture is defined as the culture of plants for food, comfort, and beauty. Horticulture is divided into three important areas: Ornamental Horticulture Olericulture Pomology

3 Traditional Agricultural Crops Peanuts State average yield of 2600 lbs./acre. Quota price at $610.00 per ton. Non-quota price at $132.00 per ton. Loan price at $175.00 per ton.

4 Cotton State average yield of 602.34 lbs. per acre in 1998 Dec. futures at $.6288 per lb. Soybeans State average yield of 21 bushels per acre in 1988 Nov. futures of $5.48 ½ per bushel Traditional Agricultural Crops continued

5 Corn Calhoun County average yield in 1998 was 125.27 bushels per acre Dec. futures at $2.59 ½ per bushel Traditional Agricultural Crops continued

6 Alternatives—Fruits & Vegetables Advantages Generally brings a good price Adaptable to Georgia’s climatic and soil conditions Because of urban sprawl, Florida is loosing some of its production capabilities

7 Disadvantages Labor intensive Expensive to produce Uncertain markets Alternatives—Fruits & Vegetables continued

8 Butterbeans Can be grown both in the spring and fall in Georgia Can be grown in Georgia for fresh market, processing or pick-your- own Grow best in well-drained loam soils with a high level of organic matter

9 Harvest beans for fresh market and pick-your-own markets when the pods are well-filled. Harvest beans for processing according to processors desires. Can be harvested after the beans are mature in a once-over operation. Butterbeans continued

10 Cantaloupes Most of the commercial acreage is concentrated in South Georgia State average of around 5 to 6 tons per acre Experienced growers have produced 10 tons per acre with good conditions Cantaloupes should be harvested at 3/4 to full slip. At 3/4 slip, a fourth of the stem will adhere and break rather than slip free. Check with seed supplier to determine when to harvest.

11 Cucumbers Cucumbers are divided into two types--Slicing and Pickling Most cucumbers grown for the fresh market and shipping are of the slicing types. Cucumbers will grow on most soil types in Georgia, but tend to grow better in soils high in organic matter.

12 Cucumbers mature rapidly in hot weather so they should be harvested every other day. Slicing and fresh market cucumbers should be harvested at 1 1/2 to 2” in diameter and 6”-10” long and should be well formed with a dark green firm texture. Cucumbers harvested in hot weather should be pre-cooled before shipping. Cucumbers continued

13 Greens (Collards, Turnips, Mustard) Planting dates: August through early October; early February through early April Harvesting – 35-50 days for turnips and mustard; 60-80 days for collards Can be grown in a wide range of soil types Harvest when stems are tender by feel Georgia accounts for 22 % of annual sales volume but has 40% of the market in April

14 Okra Excellent profit potential Extremely labor intensive A well-drained, fertile soil is best for okra production. Select a soil with a good water holding capacity. Okra can be grown for either processing or for the fresh market.

15 Okra Harvesting Harvesting for processing – should be allowed to get as long as possible without becoming fibrous or hard. Usually three harvests per week are required. Harvesting for fresh market – 3” to 5” as long as it is still tender. May require harvest every day for quality product.

16 Snap Beans Can be grown successfully as both a spring and fall crops. Grow best on fertile, well drained soils with a fairly high level of organic matter. Can be mechanically harvested. Fresh market--should be harvested before the beans are fully mature. Processing beans--should be harvested when 60% to 80% are sieve size No. 4 or below.

17 Southern Peas Can be grown on a wide variety of soils that are well drained. Can be planted for spring, summer and fall production. For fresh market, peas should be harvested 50 to 80 days after planting depending on variety. Pods should be completely filled but not dry.

18 Fresh peas often are sold by the bushel unshelled as well as shelled. A bushel of unshelled southern peas weighs about 30 lbs. For processing, peas are harvested after the mature stage in a once- over machine harvest. The processor will determine the stage at which the crop should be harvested. Southern Peas continued

19 Squash Grown throughout Georgia for the local market as well as for shipping Medium-textured, well-drained soils produce the best yields, but any well-drained, fertile soil will produce good yields under proper management practices Squash will not tolerate poorly drained soils

20 Types of Squash Summer Types Crooknecks Scallop Straightnecks Zucchini Winter Types Acorn Waltham Butternut Hubbard Butternut Buttercup

21 Summer Squash Harvested over several weeks Should be harvested every other day during the peek production season. Ready for harvest when they reach an edible size. The size depends on the market that is receiving them.

22 Sweet Corn Can be grown most any where in Georgia. Needs fertile soil to produce efficiently. Can be harvested for fresh market or for processing. Primarily hand harvested.

23 Watermelons Well adapted to the coastal plain soils of south Georgia Yields of 20,000 to 40,000 lbs. per acre are common State Farmers Watermelon Market in Cordele, but best to contract melons

24 Winter Squash Generally harvested when mature. They are harvested in one to two pickings.

25 Remember: If producing vegetables on a large scale, be sure to have a market before starting the endeavor.

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