Specifically interested in indigenous agriculture, and also how other plants were modified to be grown in the Midwest.
Missouri’s chief crops are hay, sorghum, rice, soybeans, corn for grain, watermelons, wheat, and grapes. The hay, sorghum, soybeans, and corn are likely intended for livestock feed or further processing. Missouri is also famous for its black walnuts and red delicious apples.
When you say indigenous agriculture, do you mean crops or agriculture practices? Either way, it’s going to be difficult to narrow it down to the state of Missouri. Few of these crops are native to North America: grapes came from Europe, watermelons and sorghum came from Africa, rice and soybeans came from Asia, and wheat came from the Middle East. Walnuts are native to east Asia, southern Europe, and the Americas. The apple’s ancestor also had a broad range that included North America. Corn is the modern descendant of maize, which did originate in the Americas, but not Missouri.
Even before biotechnology, humans selected the most robust offspring of their agricultural crop to plant the following season. Corn is probably the best example of this. Today, most major grains have been genetically modified – corn and soybeans in particular.
National Geographic. 2008. Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Food Plants. Global Book Publishing Pty Ltd: Washington D.C.
Pollan, M. 2006. The Omnivore’s Dilemma. The Penguin Press: New York City, NY.
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