Rice is the staple in the diet for much of the world. It runs a close second to wheat in its importance as a food cereal in the human diet. About 670 Million Metric Tons of rice is grown annually compared to 680 MMT for wheat, 440 MMT for oil seeds, and 1090 MMT for coarse grains (corn, sorghum, barley, oats, rye, millet and mixed grains.) Most coarse grains go into animal feed where its impact on the human diet is not as great (eight lbs. of grain are needed to produce one lb. of beef). Rice produces more food energy per acre than other cereal grains, and is second only to wheat in terms of protein per acre produced. Rice production has more than doubled in the last 40 years. Most of the increase in production has been a result of improved field yields. Acreage planted in rice has only increased about 30 per cent. Rice is best grown in flooded fields and so acreage is limited by soil type and supply of water.
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Last date updated on July, 2014