Echinochloa frumentacea

Japanese barnyard millet. This millet is the fastest growing of any cereal, and can produce a harvest in little more than forty days. It is grown as a minor cereal in the Orient and India, and as a fodder crop in North America where it can produce up to eight crops a year. A fun-project for amateur breeders . Ecology

The study of the interactions of species , or populations, with each other, and with their environment. Ecology makes considerable use of systems theory, and the concept of the ecosystem. It also tends to emphasise the higher systems levels, and the holistic approach. See also: Pathosystem. Economics, agricultural

One of the disciplines that make up crop science. Like general economics, agricultural economics can be divided into macro-and micro-economics. See also: Self-organising crop improvement. Ecosystem

A biological system that occupies a specified area, and which involves the interactions of all the living organisms in that area, both with each other, and with their environment. A subsystem of the biosphere, defined by either geographical or biological boundaries. Ecotype

A local variant that has been produced by selection pressures peculiar to its own locality within the ecosystem. Ecotypes are the result of micro-evolution and natural selection. See also: cultivar, Landrace, Agro-ecotype. Edaphic

Pertaining to soils. Eddoe

See: Colocasia esculenta. Eelworm

The colloquial term for a nematode, or round worm. Eggplant

See: Solanum melongena. Elaeis guineensis

The oil palm, which is native to West Africa. This palm has the highest yield of vegetable oil of any crop. The oil is obtained from the fruit which contains two distinct types of oil. Palm oil is extracted from the soft fruit flesh, which contains 45-55% of oil. Palm kernel oil comes from the seed, which contains about 50% of oil. This is not a crop for amateur breeders . Electron microscope

A microscope that uses electrons instead of light. It has the advantage of a far higher resolution that can show virus particles. But it is a very technical and expensive instrument. Elephant garlic

See: Allium ampeloprasum. Elephant grass

See: Pennisetum purpureum.

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