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A grain and forage crop farmer grows grains such as wheat, barley, canola, oats, rye, flax, peas and speciality crops or forage crops. Specialty crops are small acreage crops such as spices, specialty oats and barley, hemp, confectionary seeds, bird seed, medicinal crops or processing crops such as corn, beans or carrots. They will determine the amount and kinds of crops to be grown and carry out or oversee the cultivation, fertilizing, planting, spraying and harvesting of the crops. They also supervise their staff, maintain financial records, transport and market their crops and take care of their machinery, equipment and buildings.
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There has been, and continues to be, a long-standing stereotype about what grain farmers do for the winter months.
Wheat ranks third among U.S. field crops in both planted acreage and gross farm receipts, behind corn and soybeans. The total value of the wheat crop in 2012 was approximately $18 billion, most of which was winter wheat.
The thought of harvest usually brings to mind the image portrayed by traditional farm magazine cover pictures that feature a calm sunny day with a few fluffy clouds wandering across an otherwise blue sky.
Pasture cropping is a farmer-initiated land management system that seamlessly integrates cropping with pasture production, and allows grain growing to function as part of a truly perennial agriculture.
During the past few years, the use of small grains for forage, for silage, has increased. This practice provides a feed source when the quantity of stored feed is low; in addition, it aids in manure management by providing another time to apply manure.
Grain and forage crop producers are farmers who grow grains such as wheat, barley, canola, oats, rye, flax, peas and speciality crops or forage crops.