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Missouri CropMAP

Missouri Fruit and Nut Crops

Missouri growing regions

Prepared by James Quinn, Jefferson Institute © 2000. This is a list of fruit and nut crops that are traditionally grown (commercial production), are recommended alternate crops (oriented towards niche markets like U-pick or farm markets), are experimental crops, or are not recommended for Missouri (but may be appropriate for home gardeners).

Regional Descriptions

Great Rivers Region

This region of Missouri offers the proximity to several urban areas and a variety of soils and topography associated with both the major and minor river valleys. The extremes of weather create Missouri's greatest challenge to fruit and nut crops and the need to carefully select any variety or cultivar. Wide swings of temperature in the spring often creates a problem for many early spring flowering fruit crops; fruit crops must be able to tolerate the hot and humid summers; and extremely cold winter weather is sporadically encountered with little to no snow cover. With the exception of wine grapes, pecans, and black walnuts, Missouri is considered a minor fruit producing state by any standard statistical measure, although there is good potential for expanded fruit production.

The Missouri Ozarks

This region of Missouri is known for its shallow soils. Special care must be made to find soils that can support economical fruit or nut production. River valleys, which could offer good locations, are extremely prone to flooding, throughout the year. The extremes of weather create Missouri's greatest challenge to fruit and nut crops and the need to carefully select any variety or cultivar. Wide swings of temperature in the spring often creates a problem for many early spring flowering fruit crops; fruit crops must be able to tolerate the hot and humid summers; and extremely cold winter weather is sporadically encountered with little to no snow cover. With the exception of wine grapes, pecans, and black walnuts, Missouri is considered a minor fruit producing state by any standard statistical measure, although there is good potential for expanded fruit production.

The Missouri Bootheel

Sandy soils with irrigation in this wide flood plain area offer prospect in the lower areas. However, the hills leading away from the lower areas have most of the fruit and nut production. The extremes of weather create Missouri's greatest challenge to fruit and nut crops and the need to carefully select any variety or cultivar. Wide swings of temperature in the spring often creates a problem for many early spring flowering fruit crops; fruit crops must be able to tolerate the hot and humid summers; and cold winter weather is sporadically encountered with little to no snow cover. With the exception of wine grapes, pecans, and black walnuts, Missouri is considered a minor fruit producing state by any standard statistical measure, although there is good potential for expanded fruit production.

Northwest Missouri

This area of Missouri, especially along the Missouri River, offers some varied soils and topography that provide some opportunity for fruit and nut production. The extremes of weather create Missouri's greatest challenge to fruit and nut crops and the need to carefully select any variety or cultivar. Wide swings of temperature in the spring often creates a problem for many early spring flowering fruit crops; fruit crops must be able to tolerate the hot and humid summers; and extremely cold winter weather is sporadically encountered with little to no snow cover. With the exception of wine grapes, pecans, and black walnuts, Missouri is considered a minor fruit producing state by any standard statistical measure, although there is good potential for expanded fruit production.

Northern and Western Missouri

Although this area has an extensive agriculture base, it has very little fruit, grape, or nut production. The extremes of weather create Missouri's greatest challenge to fruit and nut crops and the need to carefully select any variety or cultivar. Wide swings of temperature in the spring often creates a problem for many early spring flowering fruit crops; fruit crops must be able to tolerate the hot and humid summers; and extremely cold winter weather is sporadically encountered with little to no snow cover. With the exception of wine grapes, pecans, and black walnuts, Missouri is considered a minor fruit producing state by any standard statistical measure, although there is good potential for expanded fruit production.

Recommended websites to list:

www.starkbros.com
MtnGrv.smsu.edu
agebb.missouri.edu/hort/index.htm
www.attra.org/attra-pub/horticulture.html
muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/hort/index.htm

Traditional Crops
Recommended Alternate Crops
Experimental Crops
Not Recommended

Traditional Crops: fruit and nut crops in commercial production

Crop
Information
Links

Apple

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Blackberry

Blackberries are not reliable in Northern Missouri (higher latitude than Kansas City).

Missouri

NewCROP

Blueberry

Adapted to all areas of Missouri with proper soil amending. Primary production tends to be near urban areas and in Missouri Ozarks.

Missouri

NewCROP

Cherry

Stone fruits are not reliable in Northern Missouri (higher latitude than Kansas City).

Missouri

NewCROP

Grape, juice & table

Commercial production was once prevalent in the Missouri Ozarks. Some production still exists.

Missouri

NewCROP

Grape, wine

All areas of Missouri have wine grapes. Yield is influenced by specifics of vineyard location and layout.

Missouri

NewCROP

Peach

Stone fruits are not reliable in Northern Missouri (higher latitude than Kansas City).

Missouri

NewCROP

Pear

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Pear, Asian

In Northwestern Missouri.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pecans

Cultivated in the Missouri Ozarks, Northern and Western Missouri, and the Great Rivers Region. Adapted throughout the state.

Missouri

NewCROP

Plums

Stone fruits are not reliable in Northern Missouri (higher latitude than Kansas City).

Missouri

NewCROP

Raspberry, Red and Black

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Strawberry

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Walnuts

Cultivated in the Missouri Ozarks, Northern and Western Missouri. Nuts are harvested from the native, wild trees throughout Missouri.

Missouri

NewCROP

Recommended Alternate Crops: fruit and nut crops for niche markets (i.e. farm markets) or occasionally under commercial production

Apple

 

Missouri

NewCROP

Blackberry

In all areas south of the Kansas City latitude. North of the Kansas City the inconsistent fruit production may be acceptable for limited or niche markets.

Missouri

NewCROP

Blueberry

Adapted to all areas of Missouri with proper soil amending.

Missouri

NewCROP

Cherry

In all areas south of the Kansas City latitude. North of the Kansas City the inconsistent fruit production may be acceptable for limited or niche markets.

Missouri

NewCROP

Grape, table

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Peach

In all areas south of the Kansas City latitude. North of the Kansas City the inconsistent fruit production may be acceptable for limited or niche markets.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pear

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Plums

In all areas south of the Kansas City latitude. North of the Kansas City the inconsistent fruit production may be acceptable for limited or niche markets.

Missouri

NewCROP

Raspberry, Red and Black

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Strawberry

All areas of Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Experimental Crops

Apricot

Flowers too early in Missouri for consistent production, but inconsistent production may be acceptable for limited markets.

Missouri

NewCROP

Chestnut

A southern nut crop that is winter hardy in Missouri. No yield information is available.

Missouri

NewCROP

Currant

Limited fresh market, but may have possibilities for preserved or canned market.

Missouri

NewCROP

Filbert/Hazelnut

No yield information is available.

Missouri

NewCROP

Gooseberry

Limited fresh market, but may have possibilities for preserved or canned market.

Missouri

NewCROP

Lingonberry

Limited fresh market, but may have possibilities for preserved or canned market.

Missouri

NewCROP

Paw Paw

New variety releases offer hope to several production and fruit quality issues. Local market may possible using consumer education techniques. Good possibilities.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pear, Asian

Has not been cultivated for many years in Missouri. Good possibilities.

Missouri

NewCROP

Not Recommended (but may be appropriate for home gardeners)

Cranberry

Missouri has a warmer climate than cranberry prefers.

Missouri

NewCROP

Elderberry

Very limited market.

Missouri

NewCROP

Fig

No yield information is available.

Missouri

NewCROP

Hickory Nut

Limited market. Long time to bear nuts.

Missouri

NewCROP

Kiwi, hardy

Varieties which are hardy are not the fruit type which consumers are familiar. Yield information on these varieties is also not available.

Missouri

NewCROP

Persimmon, Oriental

Adapted only to the southern parts of Missouri. Even there winter hardiness can be a problem. No yield information available.

Missouri

NewCROP

The Fruit and Nut Crop listing was Prepared by James Quinn, Jefferson Institute © 2000. Questions related to these plants should be addressed to James Quinn at jquinn@tranquility.net