Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 11:20 AM

Crop Management Cutting Edge: Course on Specialty Grain Use and Production.

Stephen Mason1, Donald Lee1, Dennis Brink2, Galen Erickson2, Duane Reese2, David Jackson3, Randy Wehling3, Curtis Weller4, David Jones4, and Milford Hanna4. (1) Univ of Nebraska, Dept of Agronomy and Horticulture, PO Box 830915, Lincoln, NE 68583-0915, (2) Dept of Animal Science, Univ of Nebraska, C203 Animal Science, Lincoln, NE 68583, (3) Dept of Food Science & Tech., Univ of Nebraska, 143 Filley Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583, (4) Dept of Biological Systems Engineering, Univ of Nebraska, 223 Chase Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583

Grain crop production has traditionally focused on commodity production, but increasing opportunities exist to produce grain for specific end uses. In 2001, a group of 10 agronomy, animal science, food science, and biological systems engineering faculty at the University of Nebraska initiated an effort to deliver two distance education modular courses to multiple audiences composed of undergraduate students from several majors, masters of agriculture, non-resident, and resident students. The focus of the first course is on ruminant and monogastric animal feed, wet milling, dry milling, alkaline cooked, alcohol, and industrial uses of grain. Nutrition, processing, and characteristics of grain desired for each end use are addressed. The second course addresses specialty grain production opportunities, production practices, identity preservation, contracts, harvest practices, grain drying and handling, genetic development and case studies of successful entrepreneurs in specialty grain production. These efforts have generated cutting edge technical information for students, but faces continuing challenges of resources, faculty time, coordination, technical support, and student numbers. This paper will describe the process used to implement the course, education materials developed, assess the present status, and project to the future.