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Missouri CropMAP

Missouri Vegetable Crops

Missouri growing regions

Prepared by James Quinn, Jefferson Institute 2000.  This is a list of vegetable 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.

Regional Descriptions

Great Rivers Reigon

This region of Missouri offers the greatest opportunity to grow vegetables for the burgeoning urban population centers. The variety of soils and topography associated with both the major and minor river valleys is the regions other primary asset. Most vegetables prefer lighter or sandy soils. As for the whole of Missouri, the wide swings of temperature in the spring, fall and winter make seasonally lucrative production of early and late season vegetables difficult, and cool season crops rarely do well past May, succumbing to the hot humid summers. By any statistical standard Missouri is considered a minor state in vegetable 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 vegetable production. River valleys, which could offer good locations, are extremely prone to flooding, throughout the year. The extreme SW corner of this region has commercial production of snap beans for processing. As for the whole of Missouri, the wide swings of temperature in the spring, fall and winter make seasonally lucrative production of early and late season vegetables difficult, and cool season crops rarely do well past May, succumbing to the hot humid summers. By any statistical standard Missouri is considered a minor state in vegetable production.

The Missouri Bootheel

This region is extensive in good quality light and/or sandy soils for vegetable production. It is known for both watermelons and southern peas (canned or frozen hydrated black-eye peas). As for the whole of Missouri, the wide swings of temperature in the spring, fall and winter make seasonally lucrative production of early and late season vegetables difficult, and cool season crops rarely do well past May, succumbing to the hot humid summers. By any statistical standard, Missouri is considered a minor state in vegetable production.

Northwest Missouri

This area of Missouri, especially along the Missouri River, offers some lighter soils and varied topography that is suitable to vegetable production. Most vegetables prefer lighter or sandy soils. As for the whole of Missouri, the wide swings of temperature in the spring, fall and winter make seasonally lucrative production of early and late season vegetables difficult, and cool season crops rarely do well past May, succumbing to the hot humid summers. By any statistical standard Missouri is considered a minor state in vegetable production.

Northern and Western Missouri

Although this area has an extensive agriculture base, it has very little vegetable production. The predominately heavy soils are not favorable to the lighter or sandier soils that favor vegetable production. As for the whole of Missouri, the wide swings of temperature in the spring, fall and winter make seasonally lucrative production of early and late season vegetables quite challenging. By any statistical standard Missouri is considered a minor state in vegetable production.

Recommended websites to list:

http://agebb.missouri.edu/hort/index.htm
http://www.attra.org/attra-pub/horticulture.html
http://muextension.missouri.edu/xplor/agguides/hort/index.htm

Traditional Crops
Recommended Alternate Crops
Experimental Crops
Not Recommended

Existing Crops: vegetables in commercial production

Crop
Information
Links

Asparagus

In Northwest Missouri, Missouri Ozarks and Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Cucumbers, pickling

In the SW corner of Missouri Ozarks

Missouri

NewCROP

Eggplant

In the Missouri Bootheel and Interior River Lowland.

Missouri

NewCROP

Horseradish

Some acreage in the Missouri Bootheel. Once was production in bottoms of the Missouri River as well.

Missouri

NewCROP

Lettuce

Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Mushrooms, shiitake

In Missouri Ozarks and Northwest Missouri.

Missouri

NewCROP

Muskmelon/ Cantaloupe

In all areas.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pea- southern, canning

Missouri Bootheel leads the country in production, outside of California.

Missouri

NewCROP

Peppers

In the Missouri Bootheel and Missouri Ozarks.

Missouri

NewCROP

Potato- processing

Chipping potatoes in Northwest Missouri and Missouri Bootheel areas

Missouri

NewCROP

Potato- fresh

Limited commercial production in southern Western Missouri

Missouri

NewCROP

Pumpkin

U-pick and truck garden volume is significant enough in all regions to be considered commercial production.

Missouri

NewCROP

Snap bean

In the SW corner of Missouri Ozarks

Missouri

NewCROP

Spinach

In the Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Squash

In the Missouri Bootheel, North and Western Missouri and Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Sweet corn

In the Missouri Bootheel and Missouri Ozarks areas.

Missouri

NewCROP

Sweet potato

In the Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Tomato- fresh

In the all areas.

Missouri

NewCROP

Watermelon

In the Northwest Missouri and Missouri Bootheel areas.

Missouri

NewCROP

Recommended Alternate Crops vegetables for niche markets (i.e. farm markets) or occasionally under commercial production

Asparagus

Widely adapted for Missouri. Good fresh market crop, avoid areas that may flood. Prefers lighter soils.

Missouri

NewCROP

Beet

Cool season crop best for light or loamy soils.

Missouri

NewCROP

Broccoli

Does best as a spring and fall crop.

Missouri

NewCROP

Brussel sprouts

Grow in summer for fall/winter production. Can produce throughout a mild winter in southern half of state.

Missouri

NewCROP

Cabbage

Widely adapted for Missouri spring and fall crops. Inconsistent commercial production in the Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Carrots

Widely adapted for Missouri. Inconsistent commercial production in the Missouri Bootheel. Prefers lighter soils.

Missouri

NewCROP

Cauliflower

Does best as a spring and fall crop.

Missouri

NewCROP

Collards

Widely adapted for Missouri. Heat tolerant. Grow in summer and into fall.

Missouri

NewCROP

Cucumber

Widely adapted for Missouri. Inconsistent commercial production in the Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Eggplant

Many widely adapted types, will tolerate summer heat.

Missouri

NewCROP

Endive

Does best as a spring and fall crop. Will tolerate some heat.

Missouri

NewCROP

Garlic

Choose type hardy for the North and East.

Missouri

NewCROP

Herbs, culinary

Good fresh market in urban areas.

Missouri

NewCROP

Kale

Heat tolerant. Grow in summer and into fall.

Missouri

NewCROP

Lettuce

Does best as a spring and fall crop. Will tolerate some heat. Choose varieties carefully for tolerance to heat and cold.

Missouri

NewCROP

Mustard (greens)

Heat tolerant. Grow in summer and into fall.

Missouri

NewCROP

Onions (bulb and green)

Widely adapted for Missouri. Prefers lighter soils, or peat type soils. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Parsley

Widely adapted for Missouri.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pea

Does best as a spring and fall crop.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pepper

Widely adapted for Missouri. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Potato

Widely adapted for Missouri. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pumpkin

Widely adapted for Missouri. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Radish

Cool season crop best for light or loamy soils. Hot dry weather diminishes quality. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Rhubarb

Widely adapted for Missouri. Avoid areas that may flood.

Missouri

NewCROP

Snap bean

Widely adapted for Missouri. Inconsistent commercial production in the Missouri Bootheel.

Missouri

NewCROP

Spinach

Does best as a spring and fall crop. Will tolerate some heat. Choose varieties carefully for tolerance to heat and cold.

Missouri

NewCROP

Squash

Widely adapted for Missouri. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Sweet corn

Widely adapted for Missouri. Early and late season production is more challenging. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Sweet Potato

Widely adapted for Missouri. Heat tolerant.

Missouri

NewCROP

Tomato

Widely adapted for Missouri. Early and late season production is more challenging. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Turnip

Widely adapted for Missouri. Prefers lighter soils.

Missouri

NewCROP

Watermelon

Widely adapted for Missouri. Early and late season production is more challenging. Many varieties giving a range of growth characteristics exist.

Missouri

NewCROP

Experimental Crops market is not typically established throughout the state, or crop is not always adapted to give consistent performance

Arugula, urban areas

Widely adapted for Missouri spring and fall crops. Consumer familiarity in urban areas is better.

Missouri

NewCROP

Asian greens, miscellaneous

Widely adapted to Missouri climate. Consumer familiarity in urban areas is better.

Missouri

NewCROP

Fennel, bulb type

Widely adapted to Missouri climate. Consumer familiarity in urban areas is better.

Missouri

NewCROP

Gourds

Widely adapted to Missouri climate. Where consumer familiarity or a market exists, a good niche crop.

Missouri

NewCROP

Parsnip

Widely adapted to Missouri climate. Consumer familiarity in urban areas is better.

Missouri

NewCROP

Pea- southern, fresh

Widely adapted to Missouri climate. Consumer familiarity is low. Associated with southern foods, may be applicable to certain niche markets.

Missouri

NewCROP

Shallots

Widely adapted to Missouri climate. Consumer familiarity in urban areas is better.

Missouri

NewCROP

Tomatillo

Widely adapted to Missouri climate. Consumer familiarity in urban areas is better.

Missouri

NewCROP

Not Recommended (but may be appropriate for home gardeners)

Herbs, culinary- dried

Worldwide prices are too low for to expect the capital-intensive production needed to be economical. Novelty markets may be possible to develop in some instances.

Missouri

NewCROP

Herbs, medicinal

Price and demand is erratic. If a stable market can be found, there may be a possibility on a limited number of these crops.

Missouri

NewCROP

Spices, annual seed type

Worldwide prices are too low for to expect the capital-intensive production needed to be economical. Novelty markets may be possible to develop in some instances.

Missouri

NewCROP

The vegetable 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