Wheat (See Also Wheat Futures Analysis)
Wheat is a grass that is cultivated around the world. Globally, it is the second-largest cereal crop, tied with maize; the third being rice. Wheat grain is a staple food used to make flour, livestock feed and as an ingredient in the brewing of beer. Wheat is also planted strictly as a forage crop for livestock and hay.
Corn (See Also Corn Futures Analysis)
Corn, also known as maize, is a staple food grain from Mesoamerica. The
primary uses for corn (seed) in North America are the production of corn
sweeteners like corn syrup, as a feed for livestock, and the production of
ethanol. Ethanol, a type of alcohol, is mostly used as an additive in
gasoline to increase the octane rating. Human consumption of corn and corn
meal constitute only a very small percentage of the North American
Soybeans are native to southeast Asia, but 45 percent of the world's
soybean area, and 55 percent of production, is in the United States. The US
produced 75 million metric tons of soybeans in 2000 of which more than
one-third was exported. Other leading producers are Brazil, Argentina,
China, and India. Much of the US production is either fed to animals or
exported, though US consumption of soy by people has been increasing. Soy
oil makes up 80% of the edible oil consumption in the U.S.
Oats are the fruits of any of several cereal grains. They are used for food and as fodder for animals, especially poultry and horses. Oat straw is used as animal bedding and also sometimes used as animal feed.
Rough Rice (See Also Rough Rice Futures Analysis)
Rice is a plant of the grass family which feeds more than half of the world's human population. Rice cultivation is well suited to poor countries because — though it is very labor-intensive to cultivate — with plenty of water for irrigation it can be grown practically anywhere, even on steep hillsides. Rice is the world's third largest crop, behind maize and wheat.
Canola (See Also Canola Futures Analysis)
It is cultivated in northern climates (primarily in Canada, United States, Germany, France, and the Netherlands) for the production of animal feed, vegetable oil for human consumption, and biodiesel. Canola is a major crop in India, grown on 13% of cropped land there. According to the USDA, Canola was the third leading source of vegetable oil in the world in 2000, after soy and palm. The same source calls rapeseed the world's second leading source of protein meal, although only one-fifth of the production of the leading soy meal.
Barley (See Also Barley Futures Analysis)
Barley is a major food and animal feed crop, and a member of the grass
family. Barley is the fifth largest cultivated cereal crop in the world.
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