Links to Alternative Crop Information

General
University of Illinois Agronomy Handbook [https://pubsplus.uiuc.edu/C1394.html]
This online resource provides climate, entomology, fertility, water use, disease, weed, and other crop production information, including a chapter on Alternative Crops.

Organizations
Illinois Council on Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR) [http://www.ilcfar.org/]
The program mission is to secure additional resources to adequately fund relevant and high-quality research and related outreach programs that lead to profitable, consumer-sensitive, and environmentally sound food and agricultural systems in Illinois and the nation.

Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS) [http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/]
The ISWS, a division of the Office of Scientific Research and Analysis of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and an affiliated agency of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.

Climate
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map [http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html]
The U.S. National Arboretum "Web version" of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map shows average annual minimum temperatures, based on the lowest temperatures recorded each year from 1974 to 1986.

Midwestern Regional Climate Center (MRCC) [http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/]
The Midwestern Regional Climate Center Web site is a resource for accessing current climate conditions in the Midwest, including maps of current climate conditions and the most recent Palmer Drought Indexes.

Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM)  [http://www.sws.uiuc.edu/warm/]
This Illinois State Water Survey site has climate information for the State of Illinois, including weather, soil temperature, and soil moisture data.

Soils
USDA Soil Survey Manual  [http://soils.usda.gov/technical/manual/]
This electronic version of the U.S. Department of Agriculture national soil survey handbook provides major principles and practices for making and using soil surveys and for assembling and using data related to them.

State Soil Geographic Database (STATSGO) [http://soils.usda.gov/survey/geography/statsgo/]
This Web site describes and provides access to the Natural Resources Conservation Service database containing digital geographic data from soil survey maps.

Alternative Crops
AFSIC-Alternative Farming Systems Information Center [http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/]
This program at the National Agricultural Library specializes in identifying and accessing information related to alternative agricultural enterprises and crops, as well as alternative cropping systems.

AFSIC-List of Alternative Crops & Enterprises for Small Farm Diversification [http://www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/AFSIC_pubs/altlist.htm]
This Web page presents some of the innovations available to farmers from the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center at the National Agricultural Library.

Alternative Field Crops Manual [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/index.html]
This manual in electronic and in printed versions is a joint project between the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Minnesota Extension Service, and the Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products. It provides information on the production of nearly 50 minor or new field crops, some as alternatives to traditional farm crops. The printed version may be ordered from the Center for Alternative Plant and Animal Products, 352 Alderman Hall, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108; Phone: (651) 297-8916.

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) [ http://www.attra.org/]
This national sustainable farming information center is operated by the private nonprofit National Center for Appropriate Technology. It provides technical assistance to farmers, Extension agents, market gardeners, agricultural researchers, and other agricultural professionals in all 50 states.

Crops, Specialty & Alternative [http://www.extension.umn.edu/listing_source.html?topic=2&subcat=3]
This University of Minnesota Extension Web site lists publications, news releases, newsletters, and other information about alternative crops.

Handbook of Energy Crops [ http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/dukeindex.html]
 This handbook contains information common to about 200 species most frequently proposed for energy production. It discusses available information such as: nomenclature, uses, folk medicine, chemical composition, botanical description, germplasm, distribution, ecology, cultivation, harvesting, yields, economics, energy, biotic factors, and key references.

Minnesota Grown Opportunities (MGO) [http://www.mda.state.mn.us/mgo/]
This Web site is the result of cooperative work among the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute, and the University of Minnesota. It provides access to information and business assistance for Minnesota agriculture, including publications, links to information on agricultural diversification, and a diversification options crop list.

Missouri Alternatives Center (MAC) [http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac/]
This Web site covers hundreds of alternative agriculture topics and includes links to Extension guide sheets from research centers around the world.

New CROP [http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/]
This Web site for the Center for New Crops & Plant Products at Purdue University provides new and specialty crop profiles. The site has an extensive alphabetical listing of common and scientific crop names to access data. It also includes maps of known crop distributions, references, links, and publications about alternative crops.

Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute [ http://www.jeffersoninstitute.org/]
This nonprofit agricultural education and research center works in support of family farmers by providing information on how to grow and market alternative crops, with a focus on crop diversification.

Plant Taxonomy and Characteristics
California Rare Fruit Growers (CRFG) Fruit List [http://www.crfg.org/pubs/]
Fruit cultural data, arranged by scientific name, contain temperature limits and information on soil conditions for more than 700 individual fruits. There is also a listing of more than 1,000 fruits by their common names.

Ecocrop FAO Climate and Soil Requirements [http://ecocrop.fao.org/]
This Food and Agriculture Organization database was developed by its Land and Water Development Division (AGLS) as a tool to identify plant species for given environments and uses, and as an information contribution to a land use planning concept.

Economic Plants  [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxecon.pl]
This United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service Germplasm Resources Information Network Web site provides information on plant taxonomy, use, and distribution. It contains information from the standard reference World Economic Plants (Wiersma and Leon, 1999).

Illinois Virtual Forest Web Site [http://web.extension.illinois.edu/forestry/]
The Illinois Forestry Development Council, the University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, and the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service sponsor this Internet directory of forestry information and management references for forest landowners.

Illinois Plant Information Network (ILPIN) [http://www.fs.fed.us/ne/delaware/ilpin/ilpin.html] This information network, a result of work conducted at the Illinois Natural History Survey, provides information about vascular plant taxa found in Illinois . Users can retrieve compiled information on the species and a map of its known distribution among Illinois counties.

GRIN Taxonomy  [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl]
Taxonomic data provide the structure and nomenclature for the acquisitions of the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS). Many plants (37,000 taxa and 14,000 genera) are included in Germplasm Resources Information Network taxonomy, especially economic plants.

Land Suitability Maps for Rainfed Cropping [ http://www.fao.org/ag/agl/agll/cropsuit.asp]
The Land and Plant Nutrition Management Service, a part of the Land and Water Development Division of the Food and Agricultural Organization’s Web site, publishes crop suitability maps for 30 different crops.

PLANTS Database [http://plants.usda.gov/]
This is the plants database of the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resource Conservation Service. This Web site maintains data and generates reports in specialized areas. The Characteristics page lists 100 plant characteristics, such as appearance, use in conservation and restoration, growth requirements, and suitability for NRCS practices of 2,500 conservation plant species and cultivars. The Web site also includes the Alternative Crops page, which allows limited-resource farmers and small landowners to select crops that may be suitable for small-scale farming. 

Silvics of North America: United States Department of Service Agriculture Handbook 654. Volume 1: Conifers. Volume 2: Hardwoods [http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm
This electronic handbook describes characteristics of about 200 forest tree species and varieties. Most are native to the 50 United States and Puerto Rico, but a few are introduced and naturalized. These conifers and hardwoods represent most of the commercially important trees of the United States and Canada and some from Mexico and the Caribbean Islands, making this a reference for virtually all of North America.

VegSpec  [http://vegspec.nrcs.usda.gov/vegSpec/index.jsp]
This Web-based decision support system assists land managers in planning and designing vegetative establishment practices. It uses soil, plant, and climate data to select plant species that are site-specifically adapted, suitable for the selected practice, and appropriate for the purposes and objectives for which the planting is intended. It is the result of collaboration by the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Weedy Plants
Federal Noxious Weed Program  [http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/weeds/]
This USDA-APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) Federal noxious weed site provides information and links to APHIS noxious weed activities, including exclusion, permitting, eradication of incipient infestations, surveying, data management, public education, and (in cooperation with other agencies and state agencies) integrated management of introduced weeds, including biological control.

Federal (USDA-APHIS) and State Noxious Weeds [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxweed.pl]
This Web site of federal and state noxious weeds in the Germplasm Resources Information Network includes taxonomic data that provide the structure and nomenclature for the acquisitions of the National Plant Germplasm System and links to federal noxious weed sites.

NPB List of State Noxious Weeds [http://nationalplantboard.org/laws/noxious.html]
This Web site by the National Plant Board (NPB), an organization of the plant pest regulatory agencies of each of the states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, lists U.S. and Puerto Rican noxious weeds.

Poisonous Plants
Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System [http://sis.agr.gc.ca/pls/pp/poisworld/]
This Web site of the Government of Minister of Supply and Services lists links to various poisonous plant pages.

Plants Toxic to Animals (http://www.library.illinois.edu/vex/toxic/]
This Web site contains the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Veterinary Medicine Library’s database of common poisonous plants. It was created to assist veterinary students in identifying common plants that are toxic to animals.

Poisonous Plant Database [http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/plantox/index.cfm]
This database, maintained by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition, Office of Plant and Dairy Foods and Beverages, lists poisonous vascular plants.

Plant Pathology
American Phytopathology Society (APS) [http://www.apsnet.org/]
This is the Web site for the international scientific organization devoted to the study of plant diseases and their control. The Common Names of Plant Diseases page lists plant pathogens and the diseases they cause.

Plant Pathology Internet Guide Book [http://www.pk.uni-bonn.de/ppigb/ppigb.htm]
This Internet resource guide for plant pathology, applied entomology, and related fields is provided by the Institute for Plant Diseases, University of Bonn, Germany.

 

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