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GRAINS

GRAINS (4)

Sorghum is an annual erect plant that bears a cereal seed that is used the world over as a food and feed and for a long list of other uses as well. It comes from the family of "Poaceae" and grows to a height around 6 feet, though for harvesting ease, many dwarf types of plant are also produced. The cereal crop is perennial in nature possessing corn like leaves and bearing the grain in a compact cluster. Approximately 30 other species are cultivated for the sorghum genus.

The sorghum grain is an important cereal grain that is said to be the staple food of the poor in many countries. The grain is similar to that of maize but having more fats and proteins. This proves beneficial for the livestock and hence is the reason of the popularity of the crop as a feed. it is also known with different names depending upon the geographical are including Durra, Egyptian millet, Guinea corn, Jowar, Juwar, Milo, Shallu and Sudan grass.
Sorghum is the fifth most important cereal crop in the world after wheat, rice, maize and barley. It is found in the arid and semi arid parts of the world, due to its feature of being extremely drought tolerant. The nutritional value of sorghum is same as of that of corn and that is why it is gaining importance as livestock feed. Sorghum is also used for ethanol production, producing grain alcohol, starch production, production of adhesives and paper other than being used as food and feed.

 

Maize is commonly known as corn in some countries. The growing of corn first began in Mesoamerica and has since spread throughout the American continents. Today maize is the largest crop in the Americas. There has been much disagreement about the origin of maize in Mesoamerica. There are some reports that the Spanish first grew maize in southern Mexico. The domestication of maize has been dated back as far back as 12,000 years ago.

The United States produces the largest amount of maize throughout the world, but there are other countries that also produce high quantities of maize as well such as China, Brazil and South Africa. In 2003 there was six hundred metric tons of maize produced in the world. Maize can only be produced in areas that do not have extreme cold temperature, as it is a cold-intolerant crop.

Bajra is a rapid-growing warm weather crop suitable for areas with 40-75 centimeter of annual rainfall. For the vegetative growth of crop moist weather is useful. The crop does best under conditions of light shower followed by bright sunshine. The best temperature for growth of bajra is between 20-28 degree centigrade.
In India bajra is grown over an area of 11.34 million hectares with total production of 5.5 million tons. It is grown everywhere in India. It is generally grown in the areas of low rainfall and in poor soils.
Bajra is grown as a Kharif season crop in northern India; but with irrigation it can be grown as a summer crop in southern India.

Wheat was introduced in Mexico by the Spaniards around 1520, and to early American colonists in the 1600's . At that time it was not popular in New England due to the soils and climate, but in the mid 1800's wheat was grown from seeds introduced by migrating Europeans and agricultural scientists in the area that would later be called the "Wheat Belt."
Wheat is generally grown intended for food for humans, but lesser quality wheat and the nutrient-dense by-products of flour refining are used for animal feed. Wheat is also used for whiskey and beer production, and the husk can be separated and ground into bran. Before the introduction of corn into Europe, wheat was the principal source of starch for sizing paper and cloth.