Growing Grain Crops

Course CodeBAG309
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Agronomy II BAG309

Learn to Grow Broad Acre Grain Crops

  • cereals
  • legumes
  • pseudograins

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Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to grains
  2. Cereal/grain infrastructure and machinery requirements
  3. Wheat , triticale, spelt, barley, oats, rye.
  4. Maize, Sorghum, millet
  5. Rice
  6. Pulse crops
  7. Pseudo cereals
  8. Processing grains for human consumption
  9. Grains for livestock consumption

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


What are the Stages of Crop Development?

Crops usually begin as a seed germinating and emerging through the soil top produce it's leaves. From that point, growers commonly identify the following sequence of stages:

  1.  Two leaf stage
  2.  Early tillering
  3.  Mid tillering
  4.  Late tillering
  5.  Jointing
  6.  Booting/Flag leaf emergence
  7.  Flowering
  8.  Grain fill

Jointing Stage
At jointing, just above the first node, you can cut the stem open very carefully you will find a very tiny seed head.  More nodes will develop underneath that first node, but the first node on every tiller will have the seed head developing just above it.  When the seed head and first node are about halfway up the main stem, the main stem will start to thicken, this is called booting and the last leaf the plant will develop emerges, this leaf is called the flag leaf and is quite distinctive.  The seed head will be about 2-4 cm long but a swelling in the main stem will indicate that the crop is now in the booting stage.  

Booting Stage
The booting stage is over when the seed head emerges. In wheat, the crop will then proceed to flower and then form grain. In barley, the seed head often flowers in the boot protecting it from light frosts.  

Grain Fill Stage
As the grain then starts to form we talk about the milk stage, where when the grain is squeezed a milky substance is produced, then milky dough where milky dough like substance is exuded, and then you have soft dough moving onto hard dough stage.  After the hard dough stage the crop is then drying down, in preparation for harvest.