Friday, April 6, 2012

Crop Farms

A Crop Farm grows something.  This ‘something’ might be grains, fruit, nuts, vegetables, tobacco, cotton, food for cattle, or even flowers.  Some examples of these might be:  

    People have been growing crops all through history.  As people traveled from one continent to another, they took seeds with them so that they could grow food in their new country.   Early settlers knew that they needed to be able to grow their own food if they wanted to live.
Today, farmers know much more about growing crops than they did then.  Different crops are grown so that the farmer will get larger fruit or larger seeds.  There is a lot of science in agriculture today.  Growing a better grain, fruit or vegetable means that the farmer needs to know:  1.  What kind of plant will grow well in their soil, 2. How to get the soil ready for planting, 3.  How to grow, harvest and store the crop, 4.  How to get rid of weeds and crop pests, and 5.  How to sell it once it's been grown.
Three-fourths of the world eats grain products as an important food source.  Grains are the oldest kind of crop.  Most grains belong to the grass family and are grown for their seeds.  Some of these are corn, wheat, rice, barley, oats and rye.  Grains are usually used to feed people, but sometimes they are used to feed animals. 

Farmers today depend on science a lot.  They study the soil to be sure it is right for the crops they plan to grow.  A farmer tests his soil and uses chemicals to fix or add what might be missing from it.
Crops depend on water.  A good farmer grows crops that use the water that is available.  Crops might use a combination of rainfall and irrigation.  A farmer wouldn’t grow a crop that needed tons of water in a place where it never rains.  He wouldn’t plant a crop that needs to be drier on land that is marshy or doesn’t drain rainwater well. 
    The picture to the right is an example of irrigation on a farm.    Irrigation is when a farmer has to spray water on his crops because the rain isn't enough.  These sprayers travel over the fields on wheels, spraying as they move.
Watering the Crops
    Farmers also have to watch for pests.  Pests might be plant diseases, weeds, or insects that can ruin a crop.  The farmer has to know what is ruining the crop and what to do about it.  This might mean putting just the right kind and right amount of pesticide on it.  Farmers use scientists and agricultural experts to help them figure these things out.
    Sometimes birds and rodents will eat the seeds or plants.  In the past, scarecrows were used to scare away these animals. 
    Crop farmers have to:
Get the soil ready to plant [make a place for the seeds or plants to be planted.]
Plant the crop.
Cultivate the crop.  [Pull out and bury the weeds between plants.]
Pick the crop and separate it into its usable parts.
Sell the crop, store it, or make it into food.  Some crops become feed for animals and are stored in silos.

No comments:

Post a Comment