Crops And Geography


More of the world's farmland is devoted to wheat than to any other crop. At the end of the twentieth century, close to 570 million acres, or one-sixth of all the arable land on the planet, was used to grow wheat. Six hundred million tons are produced annually around the world, 60 kilograms of which will be consumed by the average American every year.


Almost half the world's population is dependent on rice for their daily survival – this includes practically all of Asia, where the cereal grain has been a staple since the earliest days of Neolithic farming.


Corn, or maize (from the Native American, 'mesa') is one of the most widely distributed food plants in the world – exceeded in acreage only by wheat. Corn is grown from 58 degrees north latitude, in Canada and Russia, to 40 degrees south latitude in South America, with a corn crop maturing somewhere in the world every month of the year. It is the most important crop in the United States, which produces about half the world's total tonnage.


Sorghum, also known as millet, is a robust, tall cereal grass which grows wild throughout Tropical Africa and was the staple cereal for the earliest African agricultural communities.