Winter wheat are strains of wheat that are planted in the autumn to germinate and develop into young plants that remain in the vegetative phase during the winter and resume growth in early spring. Classification into spring or winter wheat is common and traditionally refers to the season during which the crop is grown. For winter wheat, the physiological stage of heading is delayed until the plant experiences vernalization, a period of 30 to 60 days of cold winter temperatures. Winter wheat is planted from September to November in the Northern Hemisphere and harvested in the summer or early autumn of the next year. In some places, winter wheat completes a year and is harvested more than a year after it was planted. Winter wheat provides higher yields compared to spring wheat. So-called "facultative" wheat varieties need shorter periods of vernalization time and temperatures of 3° to 15 °C. In many areas facultative varieties can be grown either as winter or as a spring, depending on time of sowing.
In countries that experience mild winters, such as in South Asia, North Africa, the Middle East and the lower latitudes, spring wheat is sown in the autumn and harvested in late spring the next year. This spring wheat planted in the autumn and grown over the winter is sometimes incorrectly called "winter wheat". Hard winter wheats have a higher gluten protein content than other wheats, they are used to make flour for yeast breads, or are blended with soft spring wheats to make the all-purpose flour used in a wide variety of baked products. Pure soft wheat is used for cake flour. Durum, the hardest wheat, is used for making pasta. All durum wheat grown in North America is spring-planted. Winter wheat is grown throughout Europe and North America, in Siberia. Winter wheat is grown as a cover crop. Optimal growing conditions for winter wheat include high-drainage soil with medium texture. Mid-quality soil nutrient content is best for winter wheat with an appropriate supply of nitrogen being critical for the wheat to be able to establish itself in time before winter dormancy.
In addition, a firm seedbed helps protect the wheat over the winter period. If used as cover crop, winter wheat prevents soil erosion over winter when many fields lie fallow, helps maintain topsoil Winter wheat out-competes many weed varieties Can be grown as both cover crop and cash crop Easy to manage while still providing good yield Helps build soil and cycle nutrients through soil Uses soil moisture more efficiently since it starts to grow earlier in the spring Crop is harvested earlier in the season, beneficial in regions with rainy autumn weather Winter wheat was brought to Kansas by German-Russian Mennonites in the 19th century. Bernhard Warkentin and Mark A. Carleton played a major part in the spread of winter wheat as a commercial crop. Warkentin organized imported seed from Ukraine to meet growing demand. Carleton worked for the United States Department of Agriculture as a crop explorer, he went to Russia to find other wheat varieties and worked with Kansas State University researchers to develop new ones.
Winter wheat production spread throughout the Great Plains, was, as it still is grown using the techniques of dryland farming. Olaf Christen, ed. Winterweizen. Das Handbuch für Profis, DLG-Verlags-GmbH, ISBN 978-3-7690-0719-0 Carver, Brett F.. "Early Triumph Wheat". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical Society
A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock. A farmer might own the farmed land or might work as a laborer on land owned by others, but in advanced economies, a farmer is a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands. However, in the not so distant past, a farmer was a person who promotes or improves the growth of by labor and attention, land or crops or raises animals. Farming dates back as far as the Neolithic. By the Bronze Age, the Sumerians had an agriculture specialized labor force by 5000–4000 BCE, depended on irrigation to grow crops, they relied on three-person teams. The Ancient Egypt farmers relied and irrigated their water from the Nile. Animal husbandry, the practice of rearing animals for farming purposes, has existed for thousands of years. Dogs were domesticated in East Asia about 15,000 years ago.
Goats and sheep were domesticated around 8000 BCE in Asia. Swine or pigs were domesticated by 7000 BCE in China; the earliest evidence of horse domestication dates to around 4000 BCE. In the U. S. of the 1930s, one farmer could only produce enough food to feed three other consumers. A modern-day farmer produces enough food to feed well over a hundred people. However, some authors consider this estimate to be flawed, as it does not take into account that farming requires energy and many other resources which have to be provided by additional workers, so that the ratio of people fed to farmers is smaller than 100 to 1. More distinct terms are used to denote farmers who raise specific domesticated animals. For example, those who raise grazing livestock, such as cattle, sheep and horses, are known as ranchers, graziers, or stockmen. Sheep and cattle farmers might be referred to as shepherds and cowherds; the term dairy farmer is applied to those engaged in milk production, whether from cattle, sheep, or other milk producing animals.
A poultry farmer is one who concentrates on raising chickens, ducks, or geese, for either meat, egg, or feather production, or all three. A person who raises a variety of vegetables for market may be called a truck farmer or market gardener. Dirt farmer is one who farms his own land. In developed nations, a farmer is defined as someone with an ownership interest in crops or livestock, who provides land or management in their production; those who provide only labor are most called farmhands. Alternatively, growers who manage farmland for an absentee landowner, sharing the harvest are known as sharecroppers or sharefarmers. In the context of agribusiness, a farmer is defined broadly, thus many individuals not engaged in full-time farming can nonetheless qualify under agricultural policy for various subsidies and tax deductions. In the context of developing nations or other pre-industrial cultures, most farmers practice a meager subsistence agriculture—a simple organic farming system employing crop rotation, seed saving and burn, or other techniques to maximize efficiency while meeting the needs of the household or community.
One subsisting in this way may have been known as a peasant. In developed nations, however, a person using such techniques on small patches of land might be called a gardener and be considered a hobbyist. Alternatively, one might be driven into such practices by poverty or, ironically—against the background of large-scale agribusiness—might become an organic farmer growing for discerning consumers in the local food market. Farmers are members of local, regional, or national farmers' unions or agricultural producers' organizations and can exert significant political influence; the Grange movement in the United States was effective in advancing farmers' agendas against railroad and agribusiness interests early in the 20th century. The FNSEA is politically active in France pertaining to genetically modified food. Agricultural producers, both small and large, are represented globally by the International Federation of Agricultural Producers, representing over 600 million farmers through 120 national farmers' unions in 79 countries.
Farmed products might be sold either directly from a farm. In a subsistence economy, farm products might to some extent be either consumed by the farmer's family or pooled by the community. There are several occupational hazards for those in agriculture. Farmers can encounter and be stung or bitten by dangerous insects and other arthropods, including scorpions, fire ants, bees and hornets. Farmers work around heavy machinery which can kill or injure them. Farmers can establish muscle and joints pains from repeated work. Notes Bibliography Media related to Farmers at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of farmer at Wiktionary
Gardening is the practice of growing and cultivating plants as part of horticulture. In gardens, ornamental plants are grown for their flowers, foliage, or overall appearance. Gardening is considered by many people to be a relaxing activity. Gardening ranges in scale from fruit orchards, to long boulevard plantings with one or more different types of shrubs and herbaceous plants, to residential yards including lawns and foundation plantings, to plants in large or small containers grown inside or outside. Gardening may be specialized, with only one type of plant grown, or involve a large number of different plants in mixed plantings, it involves an active participation in the growing of plants, tends to be labor-intensive, which differentiates it from farming or forestry. Forest gardening, a forest-based food production system, is the world's oldest form of gardening. Forest gardens originated in prehistoric times along jungle-clad river banks and in the wet foothills of monsoon regions. In the gradual process of families improving their immediate environment, useful tree and vine species were identified and improved while undesirable species were eliminated.
Foreign species were selected and incorporated into the gardens. After the emergence of the first civilizations, wealthy individuals began to create gardens for aesthetic purposes. Ancient Egyptian tomb paintings from the New Kingdom provide some of the earliest physical evidence of ornamental horticulture and landscape design. A notable example of ancient ornamental gardens were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World —while ancient Rome had dozens of gardens. Wealthy ancient Egyptians used gardens for providing shade. Egyptians associated trees and gardens with gods, believing that their deities were pleased by gardens. Gardens in ancient Egypt were surrounded by walls with trees planted in rows. Among the most popular species planted were date palms, fir trees, nut trees, willows; these gardens were a sign of higher socioeconomic status. In addition, wealthy ancient Egyptians grew vineyards, as wine was a sign of the higher social classes. Roses, poppies and irises could all be found in the gardens of the Egyptians.
Assyria was renowned for its beautiful gardens. These tended to be wide and large, some of them used for hunting game—rather like a game reserve today—and others as leisure gardens. Cypresses and palms were some of the most planted types of trees. Ancient Roman gardens were laid out with hedges and vines and contained a wide variety of flowers—acanthus, crocus, hyacinth, ivy, lilies, narcissus, poppy and violets—as well as statues and sculptures. Flower beds were popular in the courtyards of rich Romans; the Middle Age represented a period of decline in gardens for aesthetic purposes, with regard to gardening. After the fall of Rome, gardening was done for the purpose of growing medicinal herbs and/or decorating church altars. Monasteries carried on a tradition of garden design and intense horticultural techniques during the medieval period in Europe. Monastic garden types consisted of kitchen gardens, infirmary gardens, cemetery orchards, cloister garths and vineyards. Individual monasteries might have had a "green court", a plot of grass and trees where horses could graze, as well as a cellarer's garden or private gardens for obedientiaries, monks who held specific posts within the monastery.
Islamic gardens were built after the model of Persian gardens and they were enclosed by walls and divided in 4 by watercourses. The center of the garden would have a pool or pavilion. Specific to the Islamic gardens are the mosaics and glazed tiles used to decorate the rills and fountains that were built in these gardens. By the late 13th century, rich Europeans began to grow gardens for leisure and for medicinal herbs and vegetables, they surrounded the gardens by walls to provide seclusion. During the next two centuries, Europeans started planting lawns and raising flowerbeds and trellises of roses. Fruit trees were common in these gardens and in some, there were turf seats. At the same time, the gardens in the monasteries were a place to grow flowers and medicinal herbs but they were a space where the monks could enjoy nature and relax; the gardens in the 16th and 17th century were symmetric and balanced with a more classical appearance. Most of these gardens were built around a central axis and they were divided into different parts by hedges.
Gardens had flowerbeds laid out in squares and separated by gravel paths. Gardens in Renaissance were adorned with sculptures and fountains. In the 17th century, knot gardens became popular along with the hedge mazes. By this time, Europeans started planting new flowers such as tulips and sunflowers. Cottage gardens, which emerged in Elizabethan times, appear to have originated as a local source for herbs and fruits. One theory is that they arose out of the Black Death of the 1340s, when the death of so many laborers made land available for small cottages with personal gardens. According to the late 19th-century legend of origin, these gardens were created by the workers that lived in the cottages of the villages, to provide them with food and herbs, with flowers planted among them for decoration. Farm workers were provided with cottages that had architectural quality set in a small garden—about 1 acre —where the
Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that second group. Charles Darwin recognized the small number of traits that made domestic species different from their wild ancestors, he was the first to recognize the difference between conscious selective breeding in which humans directly select for desirable traits, unconscious selection where traits evolve as a by-product of natural selection or from selection on other traits. There is a genetic difference between wild populations. There is such a difference between the domestication traits that researchers believe to have been essential at the early stages of domestication, the improvement traits that have appeared since the split between wild and domestic populations. Domestication traits are fixed within all domesticates, were selected during the initial episode of domestication of that animal or plant, whereas improvement traits are present only in a proportion of domesticates, though they may be fixed in individual breeds or regional populations.
The dog was the first domesticated vertebrate, was established across Eurasia before the end of the Late Pleistocene era, well before cultivation and before the domestication of other animals. The archaeological and genetic data suggest that long-term bidirectional gene flow between wild and domestic stocks – including donkeys, horses and Old World camelids, goats and pigs – was common. Given its importance to humans and its value as a model of evolutionary and demographic change, domestication has attracted scientists from archaeology, anthropology, zoology and the environmental sciences. Among birds, the major domestic species today is the chicken, important for meat and eggs, though economically valuable poultry include the turkey and numerous other species. Birds are widely kept as cagebirds, from songbirds to parrots; the longest established invertebrate domesticates are the silkworm. Terrestrial snails are raised for food, while species from several phyla are kept for research, others are bred for biological control.
The domestication of plants began at least 12,000 years ago with cereals in the Middle East, the bottle gourd in Asia. Agriculture developed in at least 11 different centres around the world, domesticating different crops and animals. Domestication, from the Latin domesticus,'belonging to the house', is "a sustained multi-generational, mutualistic relationship in which one organism assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another organism in order to secure a more predictable supply of a resource of interest, through which the partner organism gains advantage over individuals that remain outside this relationship, thereby benefitting and increasing the fitness of both the domesticator and the target domesticate." This definition recognizes both the biological and the cultural components of the domestication process and the impacts on both humans and the domesticated animals and plants. All past definitions of domestication have included a relationship between humans with plants and animals, but their differences lay in, considered as the lead partner in the relationship.
This new definition recognizes a mutualistic relationship. Domestication has vastly enhanced the reproductive output of crop plants and pets far beyond that of their wild progenitors. Domesticates have provided humans with resources that they could more predictably and securely control and redistribute, the advantage that had fueled a population explosion of the agro-pastoralists and their spread to all corners of the planet. Houseplants and ornamentals are plants domesticated for aesthetic enjoyment in and around the home, while those domesticated for large-scale food production are called crops. Domesticated plants deliberately altered or selected for special desirable characteristics are cultigens. Animals domesticated for home companionship are called pets, while those domesticated for food or work are known as livestock; this biological mutualism is not restricted to humans with domestic crops and livestock but is well-documented in nonhuman species among a number of social insect domesticators and their plant and animal domesticates, for example the ant–fungus mutualism that exists between leafcutter ants and certain fungi.
Domestication syndrome is the suite of phenotypic traits arising during domestication that distinguish crops from their wild ancestors. The term is applied to vertebrate animals, includes increased docility and tameness, coat color changes, reductions in tooth size, changes in craniofacial morphology, alterations in ear and tail form, more frequent and nonseasonal estrus cycles, alterations in adrenocorticotropic hormone levels, changed concentrations of several neurotransmitters, prolongations in juvenile behavior, reductions in both total brain size and of particular brain regions; the domestication of animals and plants began with the wolf at least 15,000 years before present, which led to a rapid shift in the evolution and demography of both humans and numerous species of animals and plants. The sudden appearance of the domestic dog in the archaeological record was followed by livestock and crop domestication, the transition of humans from foraging to farming in different places and times across the planet.
Around 10,000 YBP, a new way of life emerged for humans through the management and exploitation of plant and an
"Open pollination" and "open pollinated" refer to a variety of concepts in the context of the sexual reproduction of plants. Speaking, the term refers to plants pollinated by birds, wind, or human hands. "Open pollinated" refers to seeds that will "breed true". When the plants of an open-pollinated variety self-pollinate, or are pollinated by another representative of the same variety, the resulting seeds will produce plants identical to their parents; this is in contrast to the seeds produced by plants that are the result of a recent cross, which are to show a wide variety of differing characteristics. Open-pollinated varieties are often referred to as standard varieties or, when the seeds have been saved across generations or across several decades, heirloom varieties. While heirlooms are open-pollinated, open-pollinated seeds are not heirlooms. One of the challenges in maintaining an open-pollinated variety is avoiding introduction of pollen from other strains. Based on how broadly the pollen for the plant tends to disperse, it can be controlled to varying degrees by greenhouses, tall wall enclosures, field isolation, or other techniques.
Because they breed true, the seeds of open-pollinated plants are saved by home gardeners and farmers. Popular examples of open-pollinated plants include heirloom tomatoes, beans and many other garden vegetables. A second use of the term "open pollination" refers to pollination by insects, wind, or other natural mechanisms; this can be contrasted with cleistogamy, closed pollination, one of the many types of self pollination. When used in this sense, open pollination may contrast with controlled pollination, a procedure used to ensure that all seeds of a crop are descended from parents with known traits, are therefore more to have the desired traits; the seeds of open-pollinated plants will produce new generations of those plants. Open pollination may increase biodiversity; some plants are self pollenizing and breed true, so that under open pollination conditions the next generation will be the same. Among true breeding organisms, some variation due to genetic recombination or to mutation can produce a few "off types".
Hybrid pollination, a type of controlled pollination in which the pollen comes from a different strain, can be used to increase crop suitability through heterosis. The resulting hybrid strain can sometimes be inbred and selected for desired traits until a strain that breeds true by open pollination is achieved; the result is referred to as a inbred hybrid strain. To add some confusion, the term hybrid inbred applies to hybrids that are made from selected inbred lines that have certain desired characteristics; the latter type of hybrid is sometimes designated F1 hybrid, i.e. the first hybrid generation whose parents were inbred lines. Ben Watson. "Hybrid or Open Pollinated". Gardening Articles: Care:: Seeds & Propagation. National Gardening Association. Pp. 1–6. Retrieved 2008-03-17
Compost is organic matter, decomposed in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner. Compost is rich in nutrients, it is used, for example, in gardens, horticulture, urban agriculture and organic farming. The compost itself is beneficial for the land in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus or humic acids, as a natural pesticide for soil. In ecosystems, compost is useful for erosion control and stream reclamation, wetland construction, as landfill cover. At the simplest level, the process of composting requires making a heap of wet organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps, waiting for the materials to break down into humus after a period of months. However, composting can take place as a multi-step monitored process with measured inputs of water and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials; the decomposition process is aided by shredding the plant matter, adding water and ensuring proper aeration by turning the mixture when open piles or "windrows" are used.
Earthworms and fungi further break up the material. Bacteria requiring oxygen to function and fungi manage the chemical process by converting the inputs into heat, carbon dioxide, ammonium. Composting is an aerobic method of decomposing organic solid wastes, it can therefore be used to recycle organic material. The process involves decomposition of organic material into a humus-like material, known as compost, a good fertilizer for plants. Composting requires the following three components: human management, aerobic conditions, development of internal biological heat. Composting organisms require four important ingredients to work effectively: Carbon — for energy. High carbon materials tend to be dry. Nitrogen — to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon. High nitrogen materials tend to be wet. Oxygen — for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process. Water — in the right amounts to maintain activity without causing anaerobic conditions. Certain ratios of these materials will provide microorganisms to work at a rate that will heat up the pile.
Active management of the pile is needed to maintain sufficient supply of oxygen and the right moisture level. The air/water balance is critical to maintaining high temperatures until the materials are broken down; the most efficient composting occurs with an optimal carbon:nitrogen ratio of about 25:1. Hot container composting focuses on retaining the heat to increase decomposition rate and produce compost more quickly. Rapid composting is favored by having a C/N ratio of ~30 or less. Above 30 the substrate is nitrogen starved, below 15 it is to outgas a portion of nitrogen as ammonia. Nearly all plant and animal materials have both carbon and nitrogen, but amounts vary with characteristics noted above. Fresh grass clippings have an average ratio of about 15:1 and dry autumn leaves about 50:1 depending on species. Mixing equal parts by volume approximates the ideal C:N range. Few individual situations will provide the ideal mix of materials at any point. Observation of amounts, consideration of different materials as a pile is built over time, can achieve a workable technique for the individual situation.
With the proper mixture of water, oxygen and nitrogen, micro-organisms are able to break down organic matter to produce compost. The composting process is dependent on micro-organisms to break down organic matter into compost. There are many types of microorganisms found in active compost of which the most common are: Bacteria- The most numerous of all the microorganisms found in compost. Depending on the phase of composting, mesophilic or thermophilic bacteria may predominate. Actinobacteria- Necessary for breaking down paper products such as newspaper, etc. Fungi- molds and yeast help break down materials that bacteria cannot lignin in woody material. Protozoa- Help consume bacteria and micro organic particulates. Rotifers- Rotifers help control populations of bacteria and small protozoans. In addition, earthworms not only ingest composted material, but continually re-create aeration and drainage tunnels as they move through the compost. Under ideal conditions, composting proceeds through three major phases: An initial, mesophilic phase, in which the decomposition is carried out under moderate temperatures by mesophilic microorganisms.
As the temperature rises, a second, thermophilic phase starts, in which the decomposition is carried out by various thermophilic bacteria under high temperatures. As the supply of high-energy compounds dwindles, the temperature starts to decrease, the mesophiles once again predominate in the maturation phase. There are many proponents of rapid composting that attempt to correct some of the perceived problems associated with traditional, slow composting. Many advocate. Many such short processes involve a few changes to traditional methods, including smaller, more homogenized pieces in the compost, controlling carbon-to-nitrogen ratio at 30 to 1 or less, monitoring the moisture level more carefully. However, none of these parameters differ from the early writings of compost researchers, suggesting that in fact modern composting has not made significant advances over the traditional methods that take a f