"Houdy! Welcome to crop farming 101. I hope you are not one of those people who believe their food comes from the back of the grocery store or thinks that all you have to do is throw some seed on the ground and a few weeks later gather in some grain. It takes a lot more planning and work for a farmer to grow the food you eat."

     The field must be cleared of rocks and weeds before the farmer plants the field. Than he must check to see if the ground has the right amount of moisture and the temperature right. If the ground is too cold the seed may not start to sprout roots and  actually rot before a plant can start to grow. If the ground is too dry the seed will lay dormant waiting for moisture to allow the root to brake through the outer surface. If the ground is too wet when the seed is covered by the dirt the top of the ground will get hard from the heat of the sun and the plant will not be able to brake the surface and the farmer will have to cultivate the field and brake up the ground or the plant will die. 

     From the picture above what can happen if the seed falls outside the furrow and does not get covered by dirt? Could the seed be eaten by birds?

     Weeds compete with  the crops for moisture and nutrients in the soil. What can happen to the crops if the farmer allows weeds to grow alongside the seeds he plants?

     Growing plants need regular moisture from the rain and heat from the sun. Too little rain and the hea from the sun can actually cook the plant and cause to to dry out and die.

     Rain also carries nutrients in the soil into the roots of the plant, feeding the plant what it needs to grow and produce fruit. Too little rain and the plant will not be able to get the nutrients needed to produce grain or fruit.

     Plants absorb sunlight sunlight through the leaves. Too little sun and the plant will not mature when it should and will not produce as large a yield of grain.

     Growing crops is much more than just planting seed. The farmer must also know what nutrients are in the ground and how much fertilizer he needs to apply. Too little and the plant will starve, too much and the plane can actually be damaged.  Part weatherman, part scientist, a risk taker and always believing everything will be just right to produce the food you eat. The next time you see a farmer thank him for his part in putting food on your table.   

Furrow: a strait path plowed in a field where the seed will be dropped and covered with dirt.

Yield: the number of bushels of grain a field produced per acre.


Crop Farming 101