Farming the World for Food and Feed

Croplands and pastures cover about a 1/3 of the Earth’s ice free surface. Foley et al in their PNAS commentary Our share of the planetary pie illustrate the uses of this agricultural production. Their map shows the percentage of crop NPP used to produce food that humans consume directly (blue) or indirectly in processed products (orange-red). The majority of the nonfood portion is feed for livestock, but also includes fiber or luxury crops, such as cotton and coffee. Note the differences between agriculture is rich (feed for livestock) and poor countries (food).

Foley et al PNAS Fig (http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/104/31/12585)

Click on map for a larger verison.

The map is based on data from:

Monfreda, C., N. Ramankutty, and J. A. Foley (In Press), Farming the Planet. 2: The Geographic Distribution of Crop Areas, Yields, Physiological Types, and NPP in the Year 2000, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, doi:10.1029/2007GB002947.

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