InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Future of Food > Student Materials > Module 6.2: Crop Plant Characteristic Classification and Climatic Adaptations > Agricultural Crops Case Studies > Sugarcane Case Study
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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Sugarcane Case Study

The US consumes the most sweeteners of any country in the world. In the US, high-fructose syrup is made from corn, which has displaced some sugarcane production for sugar for US market. Sugarcane production, however, has continued to increase in Brazil, the biggest sugarcane producer in the world. Sugarcane is a C4 perennial crop in the grass family and its not grown for just for sugar as a food sweetener.

Activate Your Learning

Watch this United Nations video below, about the factors contributing to increased sugarcane production and some of the consequences. Then answer the questions below.

Video: Brazil: The ethanol revolution (4:55)

If the video does not play, please see Brazil: The ethanol revolution (United Nations).

Explain two factors that explain why sugarcane production has increased in Brazil.


These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »