Chapter 8 – Summary and Discussion Questions
This ebook attempts to provide the experience and information that one would receive through an in-person field trip for an introductory crop science or plant breeding course. Viewers are taken to plots of a variety of crops, both well-known ones like corn and beans and less familiar ones like amaranth and millet. A diversity of crop uses is also presented, including grains for livestock and human consumption, edible legumes, vegetables, forages, fiber, and cover crops. Some of the topics covered are the domestication of crops from their wild ancestors, important warm season crops of the grass family, significant dicot crops, the valuable role of nitrogen fixation by legumes and their bacterial partners, the importance of genetic diversity for crop improvement, and the plant breeding concepts of hybrid vigor and recurrent selection. The indigenous American practice of Three Sisters agriculture is also described. Participants are given the opportunity to test their learning through quiz questions and to delve deeper into these topics by exploring the discussion questions listed below.