“The Crops of Texas” is probably the most holistic compilation of facts on crop production for the state. The Authors, Dr. Dudley Smith and Dr. Juan Ancisco, drew upon their backgrounds in crop production and economics, pest management, and commercial agriculture to produce colorful narratives and compile data on 200 horticultural, agronomic, and forage crops, plus seed production, for the state. Horticultural and specialty crops are ranked by acres and by value. The book is then organized by the “Crop Groups”, as used by US EPA and USDA, which places crops with similar edible traits into 20 groups for efficient reviews.
Narratives for each crop provide production facts, marketing trends, and key weed, insect, and disease pests. Crop acreages are provided by production regions and then summarized for the state, along with cash values. For example, the Leafy Greens section (crop group 4) provides details on spinach, parsley, celery, and several other greens; all totaling 6,300 acres with cash reciepts exceeding $24 million. The appendices cover crop pollination requirements, fertilization and pesticide application practices, harvesting (mechanical vs. hand), markets (fresh vs. processed), and references for more information or locating our 22 web-based USDA Crop Profiles or Crop Briefs.
While the original purpose of “Crops” was to enhance decisions on pesticide clearances, particularly for specialty crops, hopefully the details will help sustain profitable agriculture in Texas and the U.S. in the face of increasing foreign food imports. This information was compiled with the help from more than 40 experts (listed in the appendix). In particular, Brent Bean, Mark Black, Bryan Crook, James Grichar, Alan Mize, Ray Prewett, and Kenneth White were helpful in providing or reviewing information. Several people provided encouragement along the way. Special thanks are due to Joan Cowart in editing text and Missy Vajdak who steadfastly prepared and reproduced the final manuscript.
BASF, Monsanto, the Texas Vegetable Association, and others interested in specialty crops and crop protection provided financial support, which made printing and distribution possible.
Dudley Smith, MBA, Ph.D.
Juan Ancisco, Ph.D.
The report may be cited as: Smith, D.T. and J.L. Ancisco. 2005. The Crops of Texas. Department Technical Report SCS-2005-01. Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. 63 p.