A cereal is any grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm and bran. The term may refer to the resulting grain itself. Cereal grain crops are grown in greater quantities and provide more food energy worldwide than any other type of crop and are therefore staple crops. Edible grains from other plant families, such as buckwheat and chia, are referred to as pseudocereals. In their natural, whole grain form, cereals are a rich source of vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and protein; when processed by the removal of the bran, germ, the remaining endosperm is carbohydrate. In some developing countries, grain in the form of rice, millet, or maize constitutes a majority of daily sustenance. In developed countries, cereal consumption is moderate and varied but still substantial; the word cereal is derived from Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture. Agriculture allowed for the support of an increased population, leading to larger societies and the development of cities.

It created the need for greater organization of political power, as decisions had to be made regarding labor and harvest allocation and access rights to water and land. Agriculture bred immobility, as populations settled down for long periods of time, which led to the accumulation of material goods. Early Neolithic villages show evidence of the development of processing grain; the Levant is the ancient home of the ancestors of wheat and peas, in which many of these villages were based. There is evidence of the cultivation of cereals in Syria 9,000 years ago. During the same period, farmers in China began to farm rice and millet, using human-made floods and fires as part of their cultivation regimen. Fiber crops were domesticated as early as food crops, with China domesticating hemp, cotton being developed independently in Africa and South America, Western Asia domesticating flax; the use of soil amendments, including manure, fish and ashes, appears to have begun early, developed independently in several areas of the world, including Mesopotamia, the Nile Valley and Eastern Asia.

The first cereal grains were domesticated by early primitive humans. About 8,000 years ago, they were domesticated by ancient farming communities in the Fertile Crescent region. Emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, barley were three of the so-called Neolithic founder crops in the development of agriculture. Around the same time and rices were starting to become domesticated in East Asia. Sorghum and millets were being domesticated in sub-Saharan West Africa. During the second half of the 20th century there was a significant increase in the production of high-yield cereal crops worldwide wheat and rice, due to an initiative known as the Green Revolution; the strategies developed by the Green Revolution focused on fending off starvation and increasing yield-per-plant, were successful in raising overall yields of cereal grains, but did not give sufficient relevance to nutritional quality. These modern high yield-cereal crops tend have low quality proteins, with essential amino acid deficiencies, are high in carbohydrates, lack balanced essential fatty acids, vitamins and other quality factors.

So-called ancient grains and heirloom varieties have seen an increase in popularity with the "organic" movements of the early 21st century, but there is a tradeoff in yield-per-plant, putting pressure on resource-poor areas as food crops are replaced with cash crops. While each individual species has its own peculiarities, the cultivation of all cereal crops is similar. Most are annual plants. Wheat, triticale, oats and spelt are the "cool-season" cereals; these are hardy plants that grow well in moderate weather and cease to grow in hot weather. The "warm-season" cereals are tender and prefer hot weather. Barley and rye are the hardiest cereals, able to overwinter in the subarctic and Siberia. Many cool-season cereals are grown in the tropics. However, some are only grown in cooler highlands, where it' "may"' be possible to grow multiple crops per year. For the past few decades, there has been increasing interest in perennial grain plants; this interest developed due to advantages in erosion control, reduced need for fertiliser, potential lowered costs to the farmer.

Though research is still in early stages, The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas has been able to create a few cultivars that produce a good crop yield. The warm-season cereals are grown in tropical lowlands year-round and in temperate climates during the frost-free season. Rice is grown in flooded fields, though some strains are grown on dry land. Other warm climate cereals, such as sorghum, are adapted to arid conditions. Cool-season cereals are well-adapted to temperate climates. Most varieties of a particular species are either winter or spring types. Winter varieties are sown in the autumn and grow vegetatively become dormant during winter, they resume growing in the springtime and mature in late spring or early summer. This cultivation system makes optimal use of water and frees the land for another crop early in the growing season. Winter varieties do not flower until springtime because they require vernalization: exposure to low temperatures for a genetically determined length of time. Where winters are too warm for vernalization or exceed the hardiness of the crop, farmers grow spring varieties.

Spring cereal

Stockton Beach

Stockton Beach is located north of the Hunter River in New South Wales, Australia. It stretches from Stockton, to Anna Bay. Over many years Stockton Beach has been the site of numerous shipwrecks and aircraft crash sites. In World War II it was fortified against a possible attack by Imperial Japanese forces. During that time it served as a bombing and gunnery range as well as a dumping area for unused bombs by aircraft returning from training sorties; the length of the beach, its hard surface and numerous items of interest along the beach make it popular with four-wheel drive enthusiasts. Four-wheel drive vehicles are permitted to drive on Stockton Beach provided the vehicles are in possession of valid permits; the beach is popular with fishermen and several different varieties of fish may be caught. Stockton Beach, on the Tasman Sea, starts on the northern side of the break wall that protects the entrance to Newcastle harbour in Stockton, Newcastle's northern most suburb, stretches for 32 km in an approximate north-easterly direction to Anna Bay in Port Stephens.

In some areas it is as much as 1 km wide and has sand dunes over 30 metres high although at the Stockton end it is at its narrowest with no dunes. Each year the dunes move north by 4 m; the sand on Stockton Beach varies from hard to soft packed and changes daily with the changing winds and weather. The dunes are the largest continuous mobile sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere. Southern – 32°55′1″S 151°47′25″E Northern – 32°47′7″S 152°4′27″E A large part of Stockton Beach lies within the Worimi conservation lands, which stretch from south-west of the wreck of the MV Sygna, north-east along Stockton Beach to just west of the end of the beach at Anna Bay; the lands consist of the 1,826 ha Worimi National Park, 1,042 ha Worimi State Conservation Area and 1,568 ha Worimi Regional Park. Day-to-day management of the Worimi conservation lands is undertaken by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service; the earliest inhabitants of the Port Stephens region and the land close to Port Stephens itself were the members of the Worimi Aboriginal tribe and their middens may be seen at many points along the beach.

These middens, which are up to 12,000 years old, consist of the remnants of pipis and whelk shells. As the beach is reshaped by the winds some middens are concealed while new ones are revealed. A midden conservation area, where beach driving is not permitted due to the cultural significance of the middens, has been established on the beach. In the late 19th century shipwrecks on Stockton Beach were so common that two tin sheds were constructed on a part of the beach in what is now Bobs Farm near Salt Ash to hold provisions for shipwrecked sailors. During the Great Depression of the 1930s a group of squatters constructed a series of tin shacks at the site, 11 km south west of Anna Bay. During World War II the shacks were torn down to make way for an Army camp. Today, eleven of the shacks, known collectively as "Tin City", remain but no new shacks may be built, nor can existing shacks be rebuilt if they are destroyed by the elements. Tin City and the beach's sand dunes were used for several scenes in the 1979 movie Mad Max.

World War II resulted in fortifications against a possible amphibious assault by Imperial Japanese forces being installed along the beach. Many of these fortifications, in the form of barbed wire entanglements and concrete pyramid shaped blocks known as tank traps, may be seen along the beach; some of the tank traps from the northern end of the beach have been removed and relocated to near the parking area at Birubi Point in Anna Bay while most from the southern end of the beach may be found outside Fort Wallace in Stockton. Some of the tank traps pose a hazard to swimmers. During World War II the beach was used as a military bombing range and Air Force pilots used to drop unused bombs on the beach before landing at RAAF Base Williamtown. To this day it is possible to see exposed bombs in the sand. Stockton Beach is less than 3.5 km from RAAF Base Williamtown and is subjected to many overflights by both RAAF and civilian aircraft. On 10 February 1960 a CAC CA-27 Sabre from RAAF Base Williamtown crashed on the beach after overshooting its approach.

The pilot was killed. The remains of this aircraft appear from time to time. In 1989 Newcastle High School student and Fern Bay resident Leigh Leigh was brutally raped and murdered on a section of the beach at Stockton; the attack was so vicious that it was spoken about at length in the Parliament of New South Wales and referred to for years after the event. A play, a film of the same name, were both inspired by the event. A series of campaigns by local environmental groups and activists saw parts of the area declared a National Park in 2001. Stockton Beach has been the site of numerous shipwrecks over the past 200 years but since the late part of the 19th century. Wreckage from many shipwrecks continues to wash ashore periodically but the most well known and permanent of the wrecks are the Uralla and the MV Sygna; the Uralla was a 537-tonne, 46.4 m long steamer that ran aground during a gale on 14 June 1928 9 km down the beach from Anna Bay. There was no loss of life but after the vessel was refloated it drifted ashore and broke up.

Its remains may be seen at low tide. The MV Sygna was a 53,000 t Norwegian bulk carrier that ran aground during a major storm on 26 May 1974. Attempts to refloat the ship were unsuccessful; the ship bro

Pollard, Alabama

Pollard is a town in Escambia County, United States. It was the first established county seat of Escambia County, from its creation in 1868 until 1883, when it lost that distinction to Brewton. At the 2010 census the population was 137. Pollard is located in south-central Escambia County at 31°1′38″N 87°10′20″W, it is 1.5 miles south and east of U. S. Routes 31 and 29, 6 miles east of Flomaton, 9 miles southwest of Brewton. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of all land; as of the census of 2000, there were 120 people, 48 households, 33 families residing in the town. The population density was 107.6 people per square mile. There were 64 housing units at an average density of 57.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the town was 51.67% White, 41.67% Black or African American, 1.67% Native American, 0.83% from other races, 4.17% from two or more races. 1.67 % of the population were Latino of any race. There were 48 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.2% were non-families.

29.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.09. In the town, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 22.5% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 106.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.3 males. The median income for a household in the town was $26,875, the median income for a family was $28,750. Males had a median income of $41,250 versus $17,813 for females; the per capita income for the town was $11,410. There were 22.6% of families and 26.6% of the population living below the poverty line, including 36.4% of under eighteens and 30.4% of those over 64