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The Role of Cultivated Plants in the Living World

The Role of Cultivated Plants in the Living World

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The Role of Cultivated Plants in the Living World

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  1. The Role of Cultivated Plants in the Living World Crop Science 1 Fall 2004

  2. Who are Plant Scientists? • The first plant scientists were those who: • Observed how plants grew • Developed ideas about the process and how to improve it • Tested those ideas • Came to conclusions

  3. What if there were no Plants? • Without animals plants would survive and/or flourish • Without plants all animals would die • Without humans most farmed plants would become extinct

  4. Plants as a Food Source • Plants – autotrophic use sun energy to create food • Animals – heterotrophic depend upon plants for their food • Photosynthesis – Carbon dioxide (air) + water (roots) = carbohydrates • Photosynthesis occurs in leaves and other green parts (chloroplasts)

  5. Cultivation • Definition: the growing or tending of crops • Cultivation came into use about 18,000 years ago (10,000 years after modern humans) • 18,000 years ago – Egypt - Cereals (Wheat, Barley) • 6,000 years ago – Europe – Cereals • 5,000 years ago – Mexico – Corn • 3,500 years ago – South America – Potatoes • 3,500 years ago - Far East - Rice

  6. Feeding the World’s Population • Cereal Crops • Roots and Tubers • Oil Crops • Sugar • Fruit Crops • Vegetable Crops

  7. Cereal Crops • Wheat • Maize (Corn) • Rice • Barley • Oats • Sorghum • Rye • Millet • Over ½ the world’s food supply comes from these

  8. Roots and Tubers • Potatoes • Sweet Potatoes • Cassavas

  9. Oil Crops • Soybeans • Corn • Peanuts • Palm • Coconut • Sunflowers • Olive • Safflower

  10. Sugar • Sugar Cane • Sugar Beets

  11. Fruit Crops • Bananas • Oranges • Apples • Pears • Etc.

  12. Vegetable Crops • Lettuce • Carrots • Broccoli • Asparagus • Etc.

  13. Energy Transformation • 22 pounds of grain to produce 2.2 pounds of beef • Bushel of grain = protein requirement for 23 people • If fed to chickens energy for 2 and protein requirement for 8 people • Animals consume grain that is not edible to humans and produce protein of a higher quality and provide necessary minerals and vitamins

  14. Past and Present • 1970’s brink of famine, ecological disaster • 1980’s reversal of projection • Reversal was achieved by: • Agricultural research available to developing countries • New Cultivars – cultivated varieties (wheat, corn, rice) • By 2009, food consumption in nearly ½ of the developing countries will not meet nutritional standards

  15. Non-Food Benefits • Wood and wood products • Building material, fuel, landscape, paper, etc. • Textiles from fiber-producing crops • Clothing, rope, twine, burlap and etc. • Drugs and medicines • Aspirin from willow trees, codeine from poppies, tobacco

  16. Non-Food Benefits • Industrial • Latex from rubber tree • Pitch, turpentine and resin from pine trees • Aesthetic • Perfumes and spices • Environmental • Erosion control • Oxygen

  17. Challenges for the Future • New challenges more social than production • Starvation Exists – social, political reasons • Increased GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) • Round-up Ready, Flavr Savr, Rice w/vitamin A

  18. Lab Assignment • Divide into Groups of 3-4 • Using the internet research: • World Food Supply – 1800-2010 • World Population – 1800-2010 • U.S. Corn Yield – 1700-2010 • Average U.S. Farm Size – 1700-2010 • Average World Farm Size – 1700-2010 • Top 25 Commodities in U.S. 2000 • Pick 3 California Counties – top 10 commodities • Email clintcowden@westhillscollege.com