Agronomy II (Cereals and grains)

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

Learn to Grow  Cereal, Legume and Pseudo Grain Crops

  • Expand your knowledge and understanding of Grain Crops
  • Grow niche crops or farm on a large scale
  • Work on or off farms, as a farmer or supplying services or products to farmers

What To Grow?

This Course will enable you to better decide what to grow, when, and where. Before considering what you might grow on any property, you need to consider the conditions the crop must grow under. Consider:

  • Climate
  • Soil
  • Aspect and Altitude

Rainfall can be affected by altitude. Higher rainfall usually occurs at higher altitudes. High rainfall at higher altitudes may be better for growing grass for livestock production; but may be a disadvantage for grain production particularly at harvest

Soils need to be managed for optimum root health and plant growth. Cultivations soil fertility and drainage are key factors.

Aspect and Altitude
High altitude sites can often be both colder and have more difficult soils for agronomic crops. Weather conditions can be more extreme.
Rocky outcrops may be more likely; and often soils may be poorer. At very high altitudes, where natural vegetation is stunted, the amount of organic matter in the soil may not be as high as in lowland areas.
Slopes that face the sun may experience higher daytime temperatures. Slopes facing away from the sun, experience lower temperatures.


Lesson Structure

  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

What is the Difference between Wheat and Spelt?

Wheat and spelt are both from the genus Tritichum. This genus comprises around 30 species, from Mediterranean and South West Asia.
This plant species is one of the most important grain crops, a staple food for a large proportion of mankind, particularly in temperate regions.


  • T. aesativum (Common Wheat)
  • T. boeoticum (EinKorn, Single Grain): a wild species of wheat
  • T. turgidum (Durum Wheat): hardy drought resistant

There are three main types of cultivars: Diploids, Allopolyploids and Interspecific hybrids 

  • Diploids are a primitive grouping.
  • Interspecific hybrids can be artificial or natural in origin.
  • Allopolyploids have a hybrid origin, and can vary in the number of chromosomes they have.

Annual grasses, flat leaf blades, thick spikes. Wheat has small auricles with hairs

Grows in varied climates, but mainly cool to temperate regions with varied rainfall. Loam soils preferred

Soil and Fertility
Wheat is grown successfully on a wide range of soils because it is comparatively tolerant of different conditions. Acid soils are unsuitable for some cultivars. Be aware of varietal differences in sensitivity to acid soils and boron toxicity. If yields are to approach their climate potential, then soil conditions need to be considered carefully. To grow high yielding crops the soil should be well to moderately well drained, have good physical characteristics and no barriers to root penetration, have no extremes of pH, be non-saline and have an adequate nutrient supply.


Why study this course.

Agronomist are an integral part of food production responsible for playing a key part in the production of healthy grain and legume crops. Much of our food is grown on a broad acre farm, and farmers rely on the advice and recommendations of Agronomists to produce a healthy crop and to maximise yields.


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