Links to Alternative Crop Information
University of Illinois Agronomy
This online resource provides climate, entomology,
fertility, water use, disease, weed, and other crop production information,
including a chapter on Alternative
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
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.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone
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.
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.
and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM)
This Illinois State Water Survey site has
climate information for the State of Illinois, including
weather, soil temperature, and soil moisture data.
Survey Manual [http://soils.usda.gov/technical/manual/]
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.
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.
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
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
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:
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
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.
Energy Crops [ http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/dukeindex.html]
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)
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Suitability Maps for Rainfed Cropping
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
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
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
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.
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.
Weed Program [http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/weeds/]
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
(USDA-APHIS) and State Noxious Weeds [http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxweed.pl]
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
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.
Canadian Poisonous Plants Information
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.
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.
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
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.