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Easy Farming
Easy Farming

Onion Production

The term "dry onion" is used to distinguish them from green onions, which are pulled while the tops are still green and usually before a large bulb has formed. Many field operations, such as land preparation, planting, and harvesting, can be custom hired, and most of the equipment for planting and harvest can be used for other crops.


Onions are a cold-season crop, easy to grow because of their hardiness.
We recommend using onion sets, which can be planted without worry of frost damage and have a higher success rate than direct seed or transplants.
Onions grow well on raised beds or raised rows at least 4 inches high. If you’d prefer to keep your plants inside, check out our tips for growing onions from seed indoors.
• Select a location with full sun where your onions won’t be shaded by other plants.
• Soil needs to be well-drained, loose, and rich in nitrogen; compact soil affects bulb development.
• Till in aged manure or fertilizer the fall before planting. Onions are heavy feeders and need constant nourishment to produce big bulbs.
• At planting time, you can mix in some nitogen fertilizer, too, and side dress every few weeks until the bulbing process begins.


The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum. The word "potato" may refer either to the plant itself or to the edible tuber.[2] In the Andes, where the species is indigenous, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region approximately four centuries ago,[3] and have since become an integral part of much of the world's food supply. It is the world's fourth-largest food crop, followingmaize, wheat, and rice.[4] The green leaves and green skins of tubers exposed to the light are toxic.

Organic Cultivation of Potato

Organic potato production generally fits into a planned rotation on an organic farm. It is possible for a specialist potato farmer to grow organic potatoes on an organic farm. All other organic standards will still need to be implemented and the farmer will have to register with a certification body. It may also be possible to have a single field in organic crop production, providing it operates a suitable planned rotation, and organic potatoes can be adequately isolated from any other potatoes grown on the farm. Organic potato production is of interest to many farmers as the crop:
• Is in demand from consumers
• Can be profitable
• Can be a starting point for a break crop from grass in the rotation
• Requires cultivation which help control weeds
Challenges of organic potatoes
Organic potato production has a number of challenges that must be tackled:
• Providing adequate nutrients
• Preventing potato blight
• Weed control


Potatoes are the leading vegetable crop in the United States (not including sweet potatoes), contributing about 15 percent of farm sales receipts for vegetables. Over 50 percent of potato sales are to processors for french fries, chips, dehydrated potatoes, and other potato products; the remainder goes to the fresh market. Although potatoes are grown year round, the fall crop comprises roughly 90 percent of potato production.

Potatoes are a tuberous crop grown from the perennial plant Solanum tuberosum. Potato tubers are specialized stems of the potato plant that form just under the soil surface. Potato plants sprout from cut portions of whole potatoes (usually certified seed potatoes) commonly referred to as seed pieces or potato seed. The crop grows in various climates and soil types, is storable, and provides consumers with a relatively inexpensive source of calories. Potatoes are the fourth-most-consumed food crop in the world, after rice, wheat, and corn.


Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are the fourth most important food crop in the world and the leading vegetable crop in the United States. Together, Idaho and Washington produce more than half of the annual supply, which totaled 463 million cwt in 2012, up 8 percent from the previous year, and was valued at $3.73 billion. The average price for all potatoes decreased in 2012, while yield per acre increased. (NASS 2013).

Nearly 60 percent of potato sales are to processors for French fries, chips, dehydrated potatoes and other potato products. The remainder goes to the fresh market, is fed to farm animals or re-used as seed tubers for growing the next season’s crop. (NASS 2013) April 2014... Potatoes

• Canned Potatoes, Vegetables and Melons Outlook, Economic Research Service (ERS), USDA, 2009.

Potato Production

There is also a substantial wholesale market in the Mid-Atlantic based around the increasing demand for locally-produced foodstuffs and specialty-type potatoes.
Due to the wide diversity in types and high consumer consumption, potatoes are a good enterprise option for many growers. They can be marketed directly to consumers at farm stands, farmers markets, and through other local retail outlets. There is also a substantial wholesale market in the Mid-Atlantic region based on increasing demand for locally produced foodstuffs and specialty-type potatoes. Wholesale marketers will want to explore local and regional produce auctions, grocer local-buyer programs, and direct-to-restaurant sales. The diversity of potatoes is just beginning to be realized as more and improved specialty potatoes with different skin, flesh colors, and uses are being grown and marketed. The use of different colors adds to the visual appeal of potatoes on display and can attract attention at a retail outlet.


Seed potato is usually the most expensive input to potato cultivation, accounting for from 30 to 50 percent of production costs. In areas of developing countries where no formal seed supply system exists, farmers have devised their own ad hocmethod for selecting seed tubers: they sell the largest potatoes for cash, eat the medium-sized ones at home, and keep the smallest as future planting material.

Potato is grown in more than 100 countries, under temperate, subtropical and tropical conditions. It is essentially a "cool weather crop", with temperature being the main limiting factor on production: tuber growth is sharply inhibited in temperatures below 10°C (50°F) and above 30°C (86°F), while optimum yields are obtained where mean daily temperatures are in the 18 to 20°C (64 to 68°F) range.

Growing pumpkins in Western Australia

Jarrahdale, Japanese and butternut pumpkins are grown in Kununurra, Carnarvon and the south-west of Western Australia to supply the local market and eastern Australia.
They are often grown as an opportunistic crop which can be harvested at one time and stored for many months. The biggest pumpkin grown in Western Australia weighed 231kg (Albany in 2000).
Jarrahdale, Japanese and butternut pumpkins are annual vegetables in the cucurbit family that includes cucumbers, melons and zucchini. They have vigorous, prostrate vines and produce fruit with a hard shell and yellow to orange flesh.
The traditional large round, slightly flattened, ribbed type of pumpkin (Cucurbita maxima) has strong, round stems, large roundish, not deeply lobed leaves and a round fruit stalk. The main variety is the Jarrahdale type, a selection from Queensland Blue.


A pumpkin is a cultivar of a squash plant, most commonly ofCucurbita pepo, that is round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and deep yellow to orange coloration. The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp. Some exceptionally large cultivars of squash with similar appearance have also been derived fromCucurbita maxima. Specific cultivars of winter squash derived from other species, including C. argyrosperma, and C. moschata, are also sometimes called "pumpkin". In New Zealand and Australian English, the term pumpkin generally refers to the broader category called winter squash elsewhere.


Pumpkins are grown mainly in northern Victoria, with smaller plantings in the southern vegetable growing districts. Pumpkins are summer-growing annuals and will not tolerate frost.
Pumpkins may be grown on a wide range of soil types providing the soil is free-draining. They are tolerant of fairly acid conditions and liming should not be necessary unless the pH is less than 5.5.
Well-drained soils that warm rapidly in spring are ideal for the production of the quick-maturing pumpkins of the Windsor Black and Butternut types. Friable loams with an abundance of organic matter and the capacity to retain moisture are ideal.
Soil preparation
Prepare a deep, friable seedbed. Early soil preparation will allow time for cultivations to help eliminate weeds.
Planting times

Pumpkin a Big Slice of Illinois Agriculture

To our kids’ delight, a field of processing pumpkins grew across our gravel road this year. And to mine, they witnessed commercial pumpkin production and what few people realize: Illinois smashes the competition when it comes to growing pumpkins. Illinois farms commercially grow more pumpkin-pie-worthy pumpkins and ornamental carving pumpkins than any other state, a university expert tells me. In the recent five-year average, Illinois annually produced three times as many pumpkins as No. 2 California. Our state commercially grew an average 537.6 million pounds of pumpkin per year on 18,140 acres, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Pumpkins: Background & Statistics

Errata: On October 25, the first paragraph of this page was amended to clarify that 753.8 million pounds of pumpkin production represents the total of the six leading States—not the entire United States.

Pumpkin production is widely dispersed throughout the United States, with crop conditions varying greatly by region. All U.S. States produce some pumpkins, but about one-half of the total is grown in six States. In 2015, U.S. farmers in those six States produced 753.8 million pounds of pumpkins. Production dropped over 40 percent from 2014 largely due to a drop in acreage planted and harvested in Illinois. Despite this decline, Illinois remained the leading producer of pumpkins by acreage, with almost 80 percent of acres typically devoted to production for pie filling or other processing uses. Nationally, decreased pumpkin production drove down totals for per capita utilization which declined to 3.1 lbs. per person in 2015.

Pumpkin Production

Pumpkins are a crop that is well-suited to small-scale and part-time farming operations. Many marketing opportunities, such as wholesale, retail, and pick-your-own, are available for small-scale growers.

Pumpkins are a member of the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes squash, cantaloupes, cucumbers, watermelons, and gourds. The pumpkin is undoubtedly American in origin. Fragments of stems, seeds, and fruits of C. pepo and C. moschatahave been identified and recovered from the cliff dweller ruins of the southwestern United States. It is believed that C. moschataoriginated in the Mexican-Central American region and that C. maxima originated in northwestern South America. Cultivation of some of these pumpkins and squashes is almost as old as maize, and the presence in eastern Asia of distinct forms of squashes and pumpkins hints of distribution occurring in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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