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Organic grain production in the south

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An overview of small grain production for the South, include: variety selection, equipment, post harvest handling and value add produce production.

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Organic grain production in the south

  1. 1. Organic Grain Production in the South Meagan Roberts Western Piedmont Community College
  2. 2. Organic Grains • More financial return per pound • Reduced yields up to 30% depending on species • High demand in specialty food markets, organic feed and brewing/distilling • Heirloom and heritage varieties can be best suited • Need for seed saving- sourcing usually requires doing your own increases
  3. 3. Grains • Seed plants used for food • Cereal grains- seeds that come from grasses • Wheat, oats, barley, millet, rye, corn, sorghum, rice, triticale • Pseudo-cereal grains- seeds that come from non-grasses • Buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa
  4. 4. Wheat • Bread wheat- Triticum vulgare • Hard- more protein, more gluten- breads • Soft- lower protein- cakes • All-purpose flour is a blend of hard and soft wheats • Durum wheat- Triticum durum • Pasta and semolina • “Ancient Grains”- spelt, emmer (farro), einkorn, kamut • Niche wheat-based food products- generally with higher protein content, differences in gluten (Spelt is gluten-free), and higher amounts of micronutrients • Farm Products- whole grain, seed, flour, farina, bran
  5. 5. Wheat
  6. 6. Oats, Rye and Barley • Oats- Avena sativa • Barley- Hordeum vulgare • Rye- Secale cereal- lower glycemic index • Lower gluten content, grow in areas wheat will not • Farm products- whole grain, seed, flour, bran products, ‘rolled’ grains, brewing products (malting), spouted grains
  7. 7. Oats, Rye and Barley
  8. 8. Barley- 2 row vs 6 row • Refers to the number of seed rows in the inflorescense • 2 row- less protein and carbs • 6 row- more protein and carbs, higher enzyme concentration • 6 is more common in American brewing, 2 in European brewing
  9. 9. Sorghum • Sorghum bicolor • Sugar, seed and broom types • Colors of yellow, red, black, brown, purple • Grows well in poor soil and infrequent water • Traditionally southern • Farm products- syrup, whole grain, seed, flour, brewing products
  10. 10. Sorghum
  11. 11. Corn • Zea mays • Native to North America • Flint- hard seed coat, low water content, variety of colors (Indian corn) • Dent- kernels have a ‘dent’, softer, most common food product corn in US • Popcorn- high moisture expands kernel when heated • Farm products- whole grain, seed, meal, flour, grits, popcorn
  12. 12. Corn
  13. 13. Millet and Triticale • Millet- pearl type- Pennisetum glaucum • Triticale- wheat/rye hybrid- x Triticosecale • Farm products- flour, whole grains, seed, triticale flakes
  14. 14. Millet and Triticale
  15. 15. Buckwheat • Fagopyrum esculentum • Not related to grasses, can be rotated • Farm Products- flour, groats, whole grain, seed
  16. 16. Planting Warm Season- soil temp above 60F • Corn • Sorghum • Millet • Buckwheat Cool Season- after first freeze, fall • Wheat • Oats • Rye • Barley • Triticale
  17. 17. Organic Seed Sources • Biggest issue is buying commercial quantity • Buy open-pollinated so you can save your own! • Seed Savers Exchange • Johnny’s Selected Seeds • Sustainable Seed Company • Grow Organic • Heirloom Organics
  18. 18. Variety Considerations • Corn and sorghum are easily sourced for the South • Bloody Butcher corn is a great starting place • Sand Mountain Sorghum has been most successful for us • Consider modifying northern grain planting schedules • A spring wheat from North Dakota can be a winter wheat in the South • We grow Glenn Hard Red Spring Wheat as a winter wheat in NC • Talk to your Universities for state-specific varieties • Experiment with your own variety trial before to committing to quantities • Look for naturally resistant varieties to support Organic production • Taylor variety selection to match the highest yield robbing factors
  19. 19. Equipment • Ground prep- • Traditional Tillage- plow, disc, tiller or just a spader • No-till- crimper, sprayer, mower • Seeding- grain drill or no-till drill • Harvest- combine- pull type (Allis Chalmers All Crop or International) or driven • For corn, you will need a corn head and a sheller, or a dedicated corn picker • Biggest question is cost- no till equipment is more expensive up front
  20. 20. Plow, Disc and Till
  21. 21. Spader
  22. 22. Crimper
  23. 23. Drill
  24. 24. Combine
  25. 25. Corn
  26. 26. Cleaning • Commercial seed cleaning equipment- A.R. McKay, Clipper • Storage totes- bag totes, bins etc. • Bag sewer
  27. 27. Storage • Freezer and refrigeration facilities • Freeze seed before storing under refrigeration or in vacuum sealed bags • Seed quantities for replanting can be stored in cool, dry space on pallets to allow for placement of traps
  28. 28. Processing • Milling • Meadows Milling • Osttiroler Getreidemühlen • Antique milling equipment • Germination • Malting • Rolling • Bagging and weighing
  29. 29. Markets • Bakers • Home and commercial millers • Breweries • Distilleries • Feed stores • Historical reenactment • Restaurants
  30. 30. Questions? • Meagan Roberts • mroberts@wpcc.edu • 828-448-3562 • On Facebook: WPCC Sustainable Agriculture

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