Grasslands are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses, however sedge and rush families can be found. Grasslands occur naturally on all continents except Antarctica, grasslands are found in most ecoregions of the Earth. For example, there are five terrestrial ecoregion classifications of the grasslands and shrublands biome. Grassland vegetation can vary in height from short, as in chalk grassland, to quite tall, as in the case of North American tallgrass prairie, South American grasslands. Woody plants, shrubs or trees, may occur on some grasslands – forming savannas, scrubby grassland or semi-wooded grassland, as flowering plants and trees, grasses grow in great concentrations in climates where annual rainfall ranges between 500 and 900 mm. The root systems of perennial grasses and forbs form complex mats that hold the soil in place, graminoids are among the most versatile life forms. Existing forest biomes declined, and grasslands became much more widespread, following the Pleistocene ice ages, grasslands expanded in range in the hotter, drier climates, and began to become the dominant land feature worldwide.
Grasslands often occur in areas with annual precipitation between 600 mm and 1,500 mm and average annual temperatures ranges from −5 and 20 °C. However, some occur in colder and hotter climatic conditions. Grassland can exist in habitats that are disturbed by grazing or fire. Grasslands dominated by unsown wild-plant communities can be called natural or semi-natural habitats. The majority of grasslands in temperate climates are semi-natural and these grasslands contain many species of wild plants – grasses, sedges and herbs –25 or more species per square metre is not unusual. Chalk downlands in England can support over 40 species per square metre, in many parts of the world, few examples have escaped agricultural improvement. For example, original North American prairie grasslands or lowland wildflower meadows in the UK are now rare and their associated wild flora equally threatened. Some of the worlds largest expanses of grassland are found in African savanna, grasslands may occur naturally or as the result of human activity.
Grasslands created and maintained by human activity are called anthropogenic grasslands, hunting peoples around the world often set regular fires to maintain and extend grasslands, and prevent fire-intolerant trees and shrubs from taking hold. The tallgrass prairies in the U. S. Midwest may have been extended eastward into Illinois, much grassland in northwest Europe developed after the Neolithic Period, when people gradually cleared the forest to create areas for raising their livestock. Grassland types by Schimper, meadow steppe savannah Grassland types by Ellenberg & Mueller-Dombois, terrestrial herbaceous communities A. Savannas and related grasslands B
Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus Gossypium in the family of Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose, under natural conditions, the cotton bolls will tend to increase the dispersal of the seeds. The plant is a native to tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Americas, Africa. The greatest diversity of wild species is found in Mexico, followed by Australia. Cotton was independently domesticated in the Old and New Worlds, the fiber is most often spun into yarn or thread and used to make a soft, breathable textile. Current estimates for world production are about 25 million tonnes or 110 million bales annually, China is the worlds largest producer of cotton, but most of this is used domestically. The United States has been the largest exporter for many years, in the United States, cotton is usually measured in bales, which measure approximately 0.48 cubic meters and weigh 226.8 kilograms.
Cotton cultivation in the region is dated to the Indus Valley Civilization, the Indus cotton industry was well-developed and some methods used in cotton spinning and fabrication continued to be used until the industrialization of India. Between 2000 and 1000 BC cotton became widespread across much of India, for example, it has been found at the site of Hallus in Karnataka dating from around 1000 BC. Cotton fabrics discovered in a cave near Tehuacán, Mexico have been dated to around 5800 BC, the domestication of Gossypium hirsutum in Mexico is dated between 3400 and 2300 BC. Cotton was grown upriver, made into nets, and traded with fishing villages along the coast for supplies of fish. The Spanish who came to Mexico and Peru in the early 16th century found the people growing cotton and this may be a reference to tree cotton, Gossypium arboreum, which is a native of the Indian subcontinent. According to the Columbia Encyclopedia, Cotton has been spun, woven and it clothed the people of ancient India and China.
Hundreds of years before the Christian era, cotton textiles were woven in India with matchless skill, in Iran, the history of cotton dates back to the Achaemenid era, there are few sources about the planting of cotton in pre-Islamic Iran. The planting of cotton was common in Merv and Pars of Iran, in Persian poets poems, especially Ferdowsis Shahname, there are references to cotton. Marco Polo refers to the products of Persia, including cotton. John Chardin, a French traveler of the 17th century who visited the Safavid Persia, during the Han dynasty, cotton was grown by Chinese peoples in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. Mohamed Ali Pasha accepted the proposition and granted himself the monopoly on the sale and export of cotton in Egypt, and dictated cotton should be grown in preference to other crops
Barley, a member of the grass family, is a major cereal grain grown in temperate climates globally. It was one of the first cultivated grains, particularly in Eurasia as early as 10,000 years ago, Barley has been used as animal fodder, as a source of fermentable material for beer and certain distilled beverages, and as a component of various health foods. It is used in soups and stews, and in barley bread of various cultures, Barley grains are commonly made into malt in a traditional and ancient method of preparation. In 2014, barley was ranked fourth among grains in quantity produced behind corn, the Old English word for barley was bære, which traces back to Proto-Indo-European and is cognate to the Latin word farina flour. The direct ancestor of modern English barley in Old English was the derived adjective bærlic, the first citation of the form bærlic in the Oxford English Dictionary dates to around 966 CE, in the compound word bærlic-croft. The underived word bære survives in the north of Scotland as bere, the word barn, which originally meant barley-house, is rooted in these words.
Barley is a member of the grass family and it is a self-pollinating, diploid species with 14 chromosomes. The wild ancestor of domesticated barley, Hordeum vulgare subsp, spontaneum, is abundant in grasslands and woodlands throughout the Fertile Crescent area of Western Asia and northeast Africa, and is abundant in disturbed habitats and orchards. Outside this region, the barley is less common and is usually found in disturbed habitats. However, in a study of genome-wide diversity markers, Tibet was found to be a center of domestication of cultivated barley. Wild barley has a spike, upon maturity, the spikelets separate. Domesticated barley has nonshattering spikes, making it easier to harvest the mature ears. The nonshattering condition is caused by a mutation in one of two linked genes known as Bt1 and Bt2, many cultivars possess both mutations. The nonshattering condition is recessive, so varieties of barley that exhibit this condition are homozygous for the mutant allele, spikelets are arranged in triplets which alternate along the rachis.
In wild barley, only the central spikelet is fertile, while the two are reduced. This condition is retained in certain cultivars known as two-row barleys, a pair of mutations result in fertile lateral spikelets to produce six-row barleys. Recent genetic studies have revealed that a mutation in one gene, two-row barley has a lower protein content than six-row barley, thus a more fermentable sugar content. High-protein barley is best suited for animal feed, Malting barley is usually lower protein which shows more uniform germination, needs shorter steeping, and has less protein in the extract that can make beer cloudy
The potato is a starchy, tuberous crop from the perennial nightshade Solanum tuberosum. The word potato may refer either to the plant itself or to the edible tuber, in the Andes, where the species is indigenous, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were introduced to Europe in the half of the 16th century by the Spanish. It is the worlds fourth-largest food crop, following maize, the green leaves and green skins of tubers exposed to the light are toxic. Wild potato species can be throughout the Americas from the United States to southern Chile. Following centuries of breeding, there are now over a thousand different types of potatoes. However, the importance of the potato is variable and changing rapidly. As of 2007 China led the world in production, and nearly a third of the worlds potatoes were harvested in China. The English word potato comes from Spanish patata, the Spanish Royal Academy says the Spanish word is a compound of the Taíno batata and the Quechua papa.
The 16th-century English herbalist John Gerard used the terms bastard potatoes and Virginia potatoes for this species, potatoes are occasionally referred to as Irish potatoes or white potatoes in the United States, to distinguish them from sweet potatoes. The name spud for a small potato comes from the digging of soil prior to the planting of potatoes, the word spud traces back to the 16th century. It subsequently transferred over to a variety of digging tools, around 1845, the name transferred to the tuber itself. It was Mario Peis 1949 The Story of Language that can be blamed for the false origin. Pei writes, the potato, for its part, was in disrepute some centuries ago, some Englishmen who did not fancy potatoes formed a Society for the Prevention of Unwholesome Diet. The initials of the words in this title gave rise to spud. Like most other pre-20th century acronymic origins, this is false, Potato plants are herbaceous perennials that grow about 60 cm high, depending on variety, with the leaves dying back after flowering and tuber formation.
They bear white, red, blue, or purple flowers with yellow stamens, in general, the tubers of varieties with white flowers have white skins, while those of varieties with colored flowers tend to have pinkish skins. Potatoes are mostly cross-pollinated by insects such as bumblebees, which carry pollen from other potato plants, tubers form in response to decreasing day length, although this tendency has been minimized in commercial varieties
Agriculture is the cultivation and breeding of animals and fungi for food, biofuel, medicinal plants and other products used to sustain and enhance human life. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of human civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural science, the history of agriculture dates back thousands of years, and its development has been driven and defined by greatly different climates and technologies. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture farming has become the dominant agricultural methodology, genetically modified organisms are an increasing component of agriculture, although they are banned in several countries. Agricultural food production and water management are increasingly becoming global issues that are fostering debate on a number of fronts, the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Specific foods include cereals, fruits, meats, fibers include cotton, hemp and flax. Raw materials include lumber and bamboo, other useful materials are produced by plants, such as resins, drugs, perfumes and ornamental products such as cut flowers and nursery plants.
The word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, Agriculture usually refers to human activities, although it is observed in certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle. To practice agriculture means to use resources to produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops. This definition includes arable farming or agronomy, and horticulture, all terms for the growing of plants, even then, it is acknowledged that there is a large amount of knowledge transfer and overlap between silviculture and agriculture. In traditional farming, the two are often combined even on small landholdings, leading to the term agroforestry, Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, and included a diverse range of taxa. At least 11 separate regions of the Old and New World were involved as independent centers of origin, wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. Pigs were domesticated in Mesopotamia around 15,000 years ago, rice was domesticated in China between 13,500 and 8,200 years ago, followed by mung and azuki beans.
Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 13,000 and 11,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Cattle were domesticated from the aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey. In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas, alpacas and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago, cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, and was independently domesticated in Eurasia at an unknown time
Lumber, or timber is wood that has been processed into beams and planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber may refer to currently un-needed furniture, as in Lumber room, or an awkward gait, ultimately derived from the look of unfashionable, Lumber may be supplied either rough-sawn, or surfaced on one or more of its faces. Besides pulpwood, rough lumber is the raw material for furniture-making and it is available in many species, usually hardwoods, but it is readily available in softwoods, such as white pine and red pine, because of their low cost. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes but has other uses as well. It is classified more commonly as a softwood than as a hardwood, in Australia, New Zealand and Britain, the term timber describes sawn wood products, such as floor boards. In the United States and Canada, generally timber describes standing or felled trees, before they are milled into boards, Timber there describes sawn lumber not less than 5 inches in its smallest dimension.
The latter includes the often partly finished lumber used in timber-frame construction, remanufactured lumber is the result of secondary or tertiary processing/cutting of previously milled lumber. Specifically, it is cut for industrial or wood-packaging use. Lumber is cut by ripsaw or resaw to create dimensions that are not usually processed by a primary sawmill, resawing is the splitting of 1-inch through 12-inch hardwood or softwood lumber into two or more thinner pieces of full-length boards. For example, splitting a ten-foot 2×4 into two ten-foot 1×4s is considered resawing, structural lumber may be produced from recycled plastic and new plastic stock. Its introduction has been opposed by the forestry industry. Blending fiberglass in plastic lumber enhances its strength, logs are converted into timber by being sawn, hewn, or split. Sawing with a rip saw is the most common method, because sawing allows logs of lower quality, with grain and large knots. There are various types of sawing, Plain sawn —A log sawn through without adjusting the position of the log, quarter sawn and rift sawn—These terms have been confused in history but generally mean lumber sawn so the annual rings are reasonably perpendicular to the sides of the lumber.
Boxed heart—The pith remains within the piece with some allowance for exposure, heart center—the center core of a log. Free of heart center —A side-cut timber without any pith, free of knots —No knots are present. Dimensional lumber is lumber that is cut to standardized width and depth, carpenters extensively use dimensional lumber in framing wooden buildings. Common sizes include 2×4, 2×6, and 4×4, the length of a board is usually specified separately from the width and depth
A vineyard /ˈvɪnjərd/ is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science and study of production is known as viticulture. The earliest evidence of production dates from between 6000 and 5000 BC. Wine making technology improved considerably with the ancient Greeks but it wasnt until the end of the Roman Empire that cultivation techniques as we know them were common throughout Europe. In medieval Europe the Church was a supporter of wine. They owned and tended the best vineyards in Europe and vinum theologium was considered superior to all others, European vineyards were planted with a wide variety of the Vitis vinifera grape. However, in the late 19th century, the species was nearly destroyed by the plant louse phylloxera accidentally introduced to Europe from North America. Native American grapevines include varieties such as Vitis labrusca, which is resistant to the bug, the quest for vineyard efficiency has produced a bewildering range of systems and techniques in recent years.
Due to the much more fertile New World growing conditions. Innovation in palissage and pruning and thinning methods have replaced more general, traditional concepts like yield per unit area in favor of maximizing yield of desired quality. Many of these new techniques have since adopted in place of traditional practice in the more progressive of the so-called Old World vineyards. Other recent practices include spraying water on vines to protect them from sub-zero temperatures, new grafting techniques, soil slotting, such techniques have made possible the development of wine industries in New World countries such as Canada. Today there is increasing interest in developing organic, ecologically sensitive, biodynamics has become increasingly popular in viticulture. The use of irrigation in recent years has expanded vineyards into areas which were previously unplantable. The research includes developing improved grape varieties and investigating pest control, the International Grape Genome Program is a multi-national effort to discover a genetic means to improving quality, increasing yield and providing a natural resistance to pests.
The implementation of mechanical harvesting is often stimulated by changes in laws, labor shortages. It can be expensive to hire labor for periods of time. Numbers of New World vineyard plantings have been increasing almost as fast as European vineyards are being uprooted, the size of individual vineyards in the New World is significant
A plantation is an area of land or water where one crop is specifically planted for widespread commercial sale. The crops grown include cotton, tea, sugar cane, oil seeds, oil palms, rubber trees, protectionist policies and natural comparative advantage have sometimes contributed to determining where plantations were located. Among the earliest examples of plantations were the latifundia of the Roman Empire, Plantation agriculture grew rapidly with the increase in international trade and the development of a worldwide economy that followed the expansion of European colonial empires. Like every economic activity, it has changed over time, Industrial plantations are established to produce a high volume of wood in a short period of time. Plantations are grown by state forestry authorities and/or the paper and wood industries, christmas trees are often grown on plantations as well. In southern and southeastern Asia, teak plantations have replaced the natural forest. Industrial plantations are managed for the commercial production of forest products.
Individual blocks are usually even-aged and often consist of just one or two species and these species can be exotic or indigenous. Forest genetic resources are the basis for genetic alteration, selected individuals grown in seed orchards are a good source for seeds to develop adequate planting material. Wood production on a plantation is generally higher than that of natural forests. In 2000, while plantations accounted for 5% of global forest, in the first year, the ground is prepared usually by the combination of burning, herbicide spraying, and/or cultivation and saplings are planted by human crew or by machine. The saplings are usually obtained in bulk from industrial nurseries, which may specialize in breeding in order to produce fast growing disease-. In the first few years until the canopy closes, the saplings are looked after, after the canopy closes, with the tree crowns touching each other, the plantation is becoming dense and crowded, and tree growth is slowing due to competition.
This stage is termed pole stage, when competition becomes too intense, it is time to thin out the section. There are several methods for thinning, but where topography permits, the most popular is row-thinning, many trees are removed, leaving regular clear lanes through the section so that the remaining trees have room to expand again. The removed trees are delimbed, forwarded to the forest road, loaded onto trucks, a typical pole stage plantation tree is 7–30 cm in diameter at breast height. Such trees are not suitable for timber, but are used as pulp for paper and particleboard. As the trees grow and become dense and crowded again, the process is repeated
Dryland farming and dry farming are agricultural techniques for non-irrigated cultivation of crops. Dryland farming is associated with drylands - dry areas characterized by a wet season followed by a warm dry season. Dryland farming was introduced to southern Russia and Ukraine by Ukrainian Mennonites under the influence of Johann Cornies, in Australia, it is widely practiced in all states but the Northern Territory. Dry farming may be practiced in areas that have significant annual rainfall during a wet season, Crops are cultivated during the subsequent dry season, using practices that make use of the stored moisture in the soil. California and Oregon, in the United States, are three states where dry farming is practiced for a variety of crops, Dryland farmed crops may include winter wheat, beans, Sunflowers or even watermelon. Successful dryland farming is possible with as little as 9 inches of precipitation a year, native American tribes in the arid Southwest survived for hundreds of years on dryland farming in areas with less than 10 inches of rain.
The choice of crop is influenced by the timing of the predominant rainfall in relation to the seasons. For example, winter wheat is more suited to regions with higher winter rainfall areas with summer wet seasons may be more suited to summer growing crops such as sorghum. Dry farmed crops may include grapes, pumpkins and these crops grow using the winter water stored in the soil, rather than depending on rainfall during the growing season. Dryland farming has evolved as a set of techniques and management practices used by farmers to adapt to the presence or lack of moisture in a given crop cycle. In marginal regions, a farmer should be able to survive occasional crop failures. Survival as a dryland farmer requires careful husbandry of the moisture available for the crop, Dryland farming involves the constant assessing of the amount of moisture present or lacking for any given crop cycle and planning accordingly. Dryland farmers know that to be successful they have to be aggressive during the good years in order to offset the dry years.
The fact that a period must be included in the crop rotation means that fields cannot always be protected by a cover crop. Some of the theories of dryland farming developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries claimed to be scientific but were in reality pseudoscientific, Dry farming depends on making the best use of the bank of soil moisture that was created by winter rainfall. Some dry farming practices include, Wider than normal spacing, to provide a bank of moisture for each plant. Strict weed control, to ensure that weeds do not consume soil moisture needed by the cultivated plants, cultivation of soil to produce a dust mulch, thought to prevent the loss of water through capillary action. This practice is controversial, and is not universally advocated, selection of crops and cultivars suited for dry farming practices
Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the fields. Reaping is the cutting of grain or pulse for harvest, typically using a scythe, sickle, on smaller farms with minimal mechanization, harvesting is the most labor-intensive activity of the growing season. On large mechanized farms, harvesting utilizes the most expensive and sophisticated farm machinery, the term harvesting in general usage may include immediate postharvest handling, including cleaning, sorting and cooling. Harvest, a noun, came from the Old English word hærfest, meaning autumn, harvest-time, the harvest came to mean the activity of reaping and storing grain and other grown products during the autumn, and the grain and other grown products themselves. Harvest was verbified, To harvest means to reap, people who harvest and equipment that harvests are harvesters, while they do it, they are harvesting. In history, crop failures and subsequent famines have triggered human migration, rural exodus, over years, unsustainable farming of land degrades soil fertility and diminishes crop yield.
With a steadily growing population and local overpopulation, even slightly diminishing yields are already the equivalent to a partial harvest failure. Fortunately, fertilizers obviate the need for regeneration in the first place. Harvesting commonly refers to grain and produce, but has other uses, the term harvest is used in reference to harvesting grapes for wine. Within the context of irrigation, water harvesting refers to the collection, instead of harvest, the term exploit is used, as in exploiting fisheries or water resources. Energy harvesting is the process of capturing and storing energy that would otherwise go unexploited, body harvesting, or cadaver harvesting, is the process of collecting and preparing cadavers for anatomical study. In a similar sense, organ harvesting is the removal of tissues or organs from a donor for purposes of transplanting. Harvesting or Domestic Harvesting in Canada refers to hunting and plant gathering by First Nations, Métis, for example, in the Gwichin Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement, Harvesting means gathering, trapping or fishing.
Similarly, in the Tlicho Land Claim and Self Government Agreement, Harvesting means, in relation to wildlife, trapping or fishing and, in relation to plants or trees, combine Harvester Harvest Harvest festival Overharvesting Threshing Winnowing
Maize, known as corn, is a large grain plant first domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, flour corn, the leafy stalk of the plant produces separate pollen and ovuliferous inflorescences or ears, which are fruits, yielding kernels or seeds. Maize kernels are used in cooking as a starch. Most historians believe maize was domesticated in the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, recent research modified this view somewhat, scholars now indicate the adjacent Balsas River Valley of south-central Mexico as the center of domestication. The Olmec and Mayans cultivated maize in numerous varieties throughout Mesoamerica and its believed that beginning about 2500 BC, the crop spread through much of the Americas. The region developed a network based on surplus and varieties of maize crops. Nevertheless, recent data indicates that the spread of maize took place even earlier, according to Piperno, A large corpus of data indicates that it was dispersed into lower Central America by 7600 BP and had moved into the inter-Andean valleys of Colombia between 7000 and 6000 BP.
Since then, even earlier dates have been published, the study demonstrated that the oldest surviving maize types are those of the Mexican highlands. Later, maize spread from this region over the Americas along two major paths and this is consistent with a model based on the archaeological record suggesting that maize diversified in the highlands of Mexico before spreading to the lowlands. Before they were domesticated, maize plants only grew small,25 millimetres long corn cobs, Maize is the most widely grown grain crop throughout the Americas, with 361 million metric tons grown in the United States in 2014. Approximately 40% of the crop—130 million tons—is used for corn ethanol, genetically modified maize made up 85% of the maize planted in the United States in 2009. After the arrival of Europeans in 1492, Spanish settlers consumed maize and explorers and traders carried it back to Europe, Spanish settlers far preferred wheat bread to maize, cassava, or potatoes. Maize flour could not be substituted for wheat for bread, since in Christian belief only wheat could undergo transubstantiation.
At another level, Spaniards worried that by eating indigenous foods, which they did not consider nutritious, that not only would they weaken, despite these worries, Spaniards did consume maize and archeological evidence from Florida sites indicate they cultivated it as well. Maize spread to the rest of the world because of its ability to grow in diverse climates and it was cultivated in Spain just a few decades after Columbuss voyages and spread to Italy, West Africa and elsewhere. The word maize derives from the Spanish form of the indigenous Taíno word for the plant and it is known by other names around the world. The word corn outside North America and New Zealand refers to any cereal crop, in the United States, Canada and New Zealand, corn primarily means maize, this usage started as a shortening of Indian corn. Indian corn primarily means maize, but can more specifically to multicolored flint corn used for decoration