Alexia, Ronald, Pardis

Grain
Description • The seed heads of grass plants • Also called cereal • 3 parts: endosperm (starchy interior), bran (coating), embryo • Major categories (from most widely produced to least widely produced): corn, rice, wheat, barley, sorghum, oats, millets, rye, canola Production • Cyclical farming: grains are planted one season, and harvested another season • Grains are sown into land (e.g. fields, flooded plains) • Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers might be used • Irrigation used to water crops • When the grain grows and ripens, it is harvested (by machine or by hand) • Chaff, husk and straw removed Processing • Milling: grain is cleaned, bran is removed, grain is passed through rollers to grind it and it becomes flour • Fermentation: carbohydrates are turned into ethanol or alcohol Spatial diffusion of producers • Produced everywhere in the world • Major producers are the U.S., China, India, Indonesia, E.U. • Major exporters are the U.S., Canada and the E.U. • Developed countries export the most grain Uses • Breads made from flour • Other edible grain products (e.g. oatmeal, breakfast cereal, rice) • Cooking oils • Ethanol fuel from corn • Livestock feed (1/3 used for this purpose) • Industry (e.g. starch, cosmetics, drugs, explosives, pastes) • Alcohol (through fermentation) Spatial diffusion of consumers • Consumed widely in each country • Major importers are Asia (especially China and Japan) and Africa • Developing countries import the most grain Concerns • Farmers reliant on weather, so poor weather and droughts cause a low yield • There are fewer farmers due to urbanization • Dangers of pesticides and herbicides on the environment • Overfarming causes soil erosion • There is less arable land due to climate change

Alexia, Ronald, Pardis

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Using corn to produce ethanol might lead to food shortages(U.S. uses 1/5 of corn for ethanol) Grain shortages in areas of the world (India not exporting rice except for Basmati)

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