CROP*3300 Grain Crops

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The following description is for the course offering in Winter 2019 and is subject to change. It is provided for information only. The course outline distributed to the class at the beginning of the semester describes the course content and delivery, and defines the methods and criteria to be used in establishing the final grades for the course.

Management strategies and world production of the major temperate grain crops are studied relative to their botanical and physiological characteristics and to available environmental resources. The utilization of grain crops for human food, livestock feed, and various industrial products are examined.


Teaching Assistant:

Caleb Niemeyer

Credit Weight:


Course Level:

  • Undergraduate

Academic Department (or campus):

Department of Plant Agriculture



Semester Offering:

  • Winter

Class Schedule and Location:

Please see WebAdvisor for class schedule and location.

Learning outcomes:

With the students’ successful completion of the Crop*3300 Grain Crops course, they will have a broader and more detailed understanding of the scope and nature of grain crop production issues. The impact and influence of crop production management decisions made available to them and the ramifications of choices made by grain crop type for their region will be more clearly appreciated and understood.

At the end of this course, students should be able to::

  1. Better comprehend and appreciate the diversity and complexity of Grain Production Systems and Environmental impacts on Grain Crop production in Canada, with a focus on the major grain crops of wheat, maize, and barley for production in Canada and their suitable use, production and market applications.

  2. Underestand the physiology, botany and cropping systems influences of each grain crop type for better decision making in future cropping systems applications.

  3. Gain an awareness of the size and scope of the Canadian grain crops production industry including the seed production industry and the impact on Canadian agriculture and future innovations.

  4. Gain a critical understanding of the uniqueness of each grain crop type and the options to consider for introduction and successful use in a cropping system.

  5. Obtain an introductory understanding of alternate grain crops (oats, rye, and triticale) and their suitable uses in Canadian agricultural cropping systems and markets.

Lecture Content:

Lecture topics for this course include:
  • Grain crops, Origin and History, world production, Evolution, and Domestication
  • Wheat
  • Economic importance, History, Global importance, Climatic requirement and adaptation, soil requirement.
  • Botanical Description. Pollination, Wheat Kernel, Taxonomy, wheat relatives
  • Wheat morphology and anatomy.
  • Wheat growth and development. Growth stages from Seed to seed. Growth habits, vernalization and photoperiod responses.
  • Cultural/Agronomic practices. Tillage and seed bed preparation, nutrient requirement and Fertilizer, water relations and irrigation, rotations, seeding, weed management, pest control, harvest.
  • Winter Wheat Response to Extreme Cold
  • Wheat Physiology of yield
  • Wheat breeding. History, land races, pure line, and cross-breeding varieties, hybrid wheat, Novel approaches to wheat breeding. 
  • Wheat disease and pests and their management.
  • ​Uses of wheat. market classes, milling, chemical composition
  • Corn or Maize
  • Economic importance, history,
  • Adaptation. Climatic requirement, soil requirement, adjustment to the environment.
  • Botanical characteristics. Vegetative, inflorescence, pollination, development of the corn kernel, the ear
  • Types of corn. Dent corn, Flint corn, flour corn, popcorn, sweet corn, waxy corn.
  • Corn Physiology of Yield
  • Corn breeding. Open pollinated corn, hybrid corn
  • Cultural/ Agronomic practices. Nutrient requirement and fertilization, rotation, seed bed preparation, seeding, weed management, pest control, harvesting Corn Diseases and pests.
  • ​Uses of Corn.
  • Other grain crops: Barley, Oats, Other Grains
  • Organic Grain Production Systems
  • Cropping Systems with Grain Crops

The semester will include a number of presentations by invited speakers.

Labs & Seminars:

There are no labs scheduled for this course.


Course will include invited seminars during the semester. Details will be provided at least two weeks in advance in class.

Course Assignments and Tests:

Assignment or Test Contribution to Final Grade Learning Outcomes

Quizzes (5)


Grain production extension article or video



Final Exam




Additional Notes:

Best four of five quizzes are counted towards final grade

Grain Production Extension article or video:

Students are required to prepare an extension pamphlet or video. Each student will need to choose a grain crop and a production constraint (e.g., biotic or abiotic stress) or production activity (e.g., fertilizer or pesticide application or tillage) and prepare either a two-page extension fact sheet, a folding pamphlet, or a 5 min video (students’ choice). The pamphlet or video should target average Ontario grower as the audience and should provide practical/applied information on how to deal with the issue or what are the best farming practices related to the constraint or the activity chosen by the student. To prepare for this, students can meet with the instructor to discuss ideas. Only for videos, team work (teams of 3-5 students) will also be accepted. 

Final examination:

Please refer to Web Advisor for exam schedule and location.

Course Resources:

Required Texts:

Not applicable

Recommended Texts:

John H. Martin, Richard P. Waldren, David L. Stamp. 2006. Principles of Field Crop Production. 4th edition. Pearson Education Inc. 954 pp.

George Acquaah. 2005. Principles of Crop Production, Theory Techniques and Technology. 2nd edition. Pearson Education Inc. 740 pp.

Mike J. Gooding and W. Paul Davies. 1997. Wheat Production and Utilization, Systems, quality, and the environment. CAB international. 355 pp.

E. G. Heyne. 1987. Wheat and Wheat Improvement. 2nd Edition. American Society of Agronomy.

Lab Manual:

Not applicable

Other Resources:

Not applicable

Field Trips:

Field trip(s) to be scheduled after discussing suitable dates/times with students. 

Additional Costs:

Not applicable.

Course Policies:

Grading Policies:

All assignments are due at the beginning of class on the prescribed dates. Late penalty is 10% per 3 days from the due date and time.

Course Policy on Group Work:

All submitted work is to be an individual effort with no collaboration or sharing of answers; this includes use of materials from previous years. Laboratory data may be collected as a group, however, analysis and written lab reports are individual efforts.

Course Policy regarding use of electronic devices and recording of lectures:

Texting and use of electronic devices, except for laptops, are prohibited in lecture and lab.

Electronic recording of classes is expressly forbidden without consent of the instructor.  When recordings are permitted they are solely for the use of the authorized student and may not be reproduced, or transmitted to others, without the express written consent of the instructor.

Other Course Information:

University Policies

Academic Consideration

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