Grains and Legumes

Small grains in the palm of hands (Copyright IStock).
Add new crops to your rotation or learn how you can successfully adopt sustainable farming techniques or organic production methods for your field crops.

USDA. NAL. Alternative Farming Systems Information Center.

Lists alternative crop and livestock species and related enterprises with links to Extension sources that help evaluate and start non-conventional farming enterprises. In the section Field Crops, find alternatives for feed and forage; edible and industrial oils; and food grains, pseudocereals, and legumes. 

USDA. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

Case studies, fact sheets, farmer profiles, and other educational resources for producers of agronomic crops. Use the filters under Commodities and Agronomic Crops to narrow the list of resources. Specific crops range from buckwheat to sunflower

National Center for Appropriate Technology. ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Production and marketing information for specialty grains and organic techniques for conventional grain.

University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences

Educational resources, videos, fact sheets, and listserv to support organic row crop and small grain production. Includes the OGRAIN Compass, a spreadsheet tool to help you understand the financial outcomes of transitioning to organic production or starting an organic grain operation. 

North Carolina State University.

Provides information on crop production of corn, small grains, and soybeans; marketing; cover crops; fertility management; organic no-till; weed management; and more.

University of Minnesota. Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics.

Provides an overview of varieties and discusses issues specific to organic production of small grains. The materials are focused on Minnesota and the Upper midwest, but may also be of wider use. Publication is available as a free PDF and viewable by chapter or in full. Note, Chapter 14 [PDF]  describes management of alternative crops.

Wisconsin Integrated Cropping Systems Trial Project.

Information developed from a research project with 40 growers in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin to promote the inclusion of small grains in corn-soy rotations.

University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service.

Provides information for more than 40 alternative field crops, such as crambe, flax, and kenaf.

Penn State Extension Service.

Information, research, and recommendations on production and pest management for crops in Pennsylvania. Find videos and guides created to support organic production of agronomic crops and forages.