Alternative crops include just about anything that is not corn, soybean, or wheat--the "Big 3" of Minnesota agriculture. Alternative crops also include specialty varieties of the big three crops: things like white corn, waxy corn, and food-grade soybeans.
Search engines such as Google can provide a vast array of information on alternative crops, but knowing what search terms to enter can be a challenge.
Minnesota Farm Opportunities provides helpful suggestions for using search engines to find alternative agriculture information. This site also has links to lists of suggested key words for alternative crops, livestock, and other farm-based business opportunities such as agritourism and energy production.
ATTRA, Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas is a great source of in-depth information about alternative crops. Click on "Horticultural Crops" or on "Field Crops" in the left column; or type a specific crop name into the "Search" field at the top of the home page. You can also contact ATTRA to request print copies of publications.
ATTRA telephone numbers: 800-346-9140 (English); 800-411-3222 (Español)
Agricultural Diversification Specialist, Minnesota Department of Agriculture