Winter Crop

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Winter Crop


an annual plant whose normal development requires overwintering, that is, exposure to a low temperature (0°-10°C) for 30 to 70 days or longer. Winter crops are planted in the autumn, and their grain is harvested the following year. Winter crops planted in the spring develop a root system and aboveground such vegetative organs as leaves and tillering shoots, but they do not bear fruit. Vernalized seed planted in the spring produces a crop in the same growing season. Winter crops have two periods of active vegetation: autumn (45 to 50 days) and spring-summer (75 to 100 days). Between these periods the plants are dormant. In the autumn, as a result of complex biochemical and physiological processes, the plants harden, that is, become resistant to low temperatures and other unfavorable wintering conditions. There also are forms that are not winter crops and not spring crops. Such plants, which include some varieties of wheat, oats, and barley, may be cultivated in the autumn or spring. They develop normally and produce grain.

Winter crops include such cereals as winter wheat, rye, and barley. A number of oil plants from the family Cruciferae, including winter rape, wintercress, and falseflax, are winter crops. An example of a winter legume is hairy vetch. In world agriculture, winter wheat is the most common winter annual. It is the principal grain crop of Europe and the United States. Winter rye is raised in Europe, the United States, Turkey, Canada, and Argentina. Winter barley is grown in the southern regions of Europe and Asia. Winter rape is cultivated in India, Japan, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), France, Sweden, North Africa, and the United States. Wintercress is grown mainly in the GDR and the Federal Republic of Germany, and false flax in Western Europe and North America. Hairy vetch is raised in Europe, Asia Minor, the United States, and Japan. The raising of winter crops is confined to regions with relatively mild winters and a constant snow cover.

Winter wheat is grown throughout the USSR, from Southern Arkhangel’sk Oblast to the Turkmen SSR. The major regions for its cultivation are the Ukraine, the Northern Caucasus, and Moldavia. Winter wheat covered 8.3 million hectares (ha) in 1913, 14.3 million ha in 1940, 12.1 million ha in 1960, 15.5 million ha in 1970, 20.7 million ha in 1971, and 15.0 million ha in 1972. Winter rye is also grown almost everywhere in the USSR, but more than 70 percent of the sown area is in the RSFSR. It occupied 29.1 million ha in 1913, 23.1 million ha in 1940, 16.2 million ha in 1960, 10 million ha in 1970, 9.5 million ha in 1971, and 8.1 million ha in 1972. Winter barley is grown in the southern RSFSR, Middle Asia, and Moldavia. Winter oil crops are raised in the Ukraine, and hairy vetch in the Ukraine, Byelorussia, and Middle Asia.

In the principal growing regions, the winter crops are higher yielding than the spring ones, since they make better use of the spring moisture supply in the soil. For example, the average winter wheat yield in the USSR (1966–70) was 19.6 quintals per ha, and the average spring wheat yield was 11.1 quintals per ha. In planting in feed rotations, winter rye produces the earliest green feed. Winter crops are particularly valuable because they are good predecessors for spring plants and they cut down on the amount of field work necessary in the spring and during harvesting.

References in periodicals archive ?
The centre has asked farmers to submit their expression of interest to implement its winter crop plan by July 15.
Mr Morgan said the key to growing winter crops was to test the soil before sowing.
At any latitude in the United States, there's enough daylight to grow a wide range of winter crops.
Even when the garden soil freezes three or four inches deep for short periods, the winter is not severe enough to damage carefully mulched winter crops.
Astarta (AST PW) reported it completed its 2011 winter crop harvest with the total average yield up 27% y/y: 4.
Chris Main told Tennessee's WREG that barley "could provide the Tennessee grower an alternative winter crop that can be quite profitable.
In its September crop report, the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics slashed its expectations for Australia's winter crop production by 11.
Q I ALWAYS thought that rhubarb was a winter crop but my aunt says she's eating her plants now.
This week carrots grown in Suffolk started going into M&S stores, just as the Scottish winter crop was making its exit.
Farmers are tilling the fields to prepare for the winter crop, chemists are setting up labs in caves and the backs of trucks, and family men are riskin g their freedom to sneak heroin across the border.
6] ha of rice fields are continuously flooded and fallow in the winter crop season (Cai 1995); the other rice fields are dry fallow or planted with upland crop such as winter wheat.
Wheat dropped to a two-week low on pressure from the rapidly advancing harvest of the US winter crop.