The map shows the diversity of agricultural structures of crops and livestock of the American double continent. The countries/states of the continent are among the world's most important agricultural exporters and importers. In total, they account for about one third of world agricultural trade, of which the U.S. has the largest single share.
In North America, large areas of Canada and Alaska cannot be used agriculturally due to climatic reasons. In Canada, even within the natural boundry, large surface areas of boreal coniferous forest are taken up with the cultivation of cereals and are primarily subject of forest utilisation.
In the temperate latitudes of North America, the cultivation of sugar beet, corn, wheat and cattle and pig farming are common. Wheat crop cultivation is concentrated in the steppe zone (Great Plains), which is the equivalent of the pampas in South America. In the Midwest, the combination of fodder crops (maize) and livestock (cattle and pigs) is clearly visible.
In the dry western parts, production of the cotton and sugar beet crops are dependent on irrigation. In the subtropical dominated areas (California, Florida), the climate allows the cultivation of citrus fruits, which are in turn irrigated in California.
In the southeastern United States, cotton, sugar cane, peanuts and tobacco are also grown under humid climate conditions. Due to the extremely high water demand, rice crops are grown on land concentrated in the Mississippi Valley and along the Gulf coast.
The influences of the relief on the cropping patterns in plants can be graphically shown by the mountain system of the Rocky Mountains. These plants act as rain catchers as in the leeside (east of the mountains) very little rainfall is collected into storage tanks e.g. beet growing can only take place in irrigated areas.
Central and South America
Agriculture in Central America, the Caribbean and throughout most of South America is characterised by tropical and subtropical fruits such as sugar cane, banana, cotton, coffee, cocoa and rubber. In the western part of South America, sugar cane production is coupled with irrigation due to low amounts of rainfall and when there is sufficiently high rainfall, production is carried out on the rain-fed crops.
Wheat cultivation also occurs on a large scale in temperate climates in South America. Wine is mainly found in Mediterranean climates such as (Chile or in California, North America). Cattle breeding is mainly found in the savanna of South America, while the most frugal sheep and goats are kept on the steppes or high mountain grasslands.
Infrastructure and world
The agricultural structure of individual countries, however, may not only be seen by dependence on climatic conditions. Considerations also include the infrastructure requirements and the varying degrees of involvement in the global market. Highly technologically developed agriculture is characteristic of the U.S. with a large export orientation. The agricultural sector of other countries in Central America are still more traditionally structured with a single-market. Therefore, the export of agricultural products by the United States and Canada are at the forefront of the American States.
W. Klohn; Urheber; ▄: Colette Fleming
Keywords: agriculture Central America land use Latin America North America South America the primary sector
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