For the InstructorThese student materials complement the Future of Food Instructor Materials. If you would like your students to have access to the student materials, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing InTeGrate teaching materials.
Top 15 World Agricultural Commodities
For this summative assessment, you need to have completed the corn and sugarcane agricultural crops case studies in this module. If you have not, go back and read the linked ERS USDA website and watch the FAO video. Then go to FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) FAOSTAT and look up the top 15 agricultural commodities in the world in 2013, or the most recent year that data is available, as well as the top agricultural commodities in 2000. Download the ranking and total production of the top 50 commodities for 2000 and the most recent year. In a spreadsheet calculate the percentage of change in production of the most recent year's top 15 commodities then answer the below questions. Your instructor may provide you with this downloaded data and the change in production calculation. Analysis and critical thinking about the data are encouraged.
Answer the following questions:
- Describe the crops that are used to produce the top 15 agricultural commodities with the classification systems you have learned in Module 6.
- In what plant families are they?
- Are the top agricultural commodities produced from annual or perennial plants or both?
- Are they cool season, warm season, C3 or C4 plants?
- Which four commodities have increased in production the most in comparison to the other top 11 commodities, which had the greatest percentage of increase in production? By what percentage has the production (in weight, not dollars) of the top four agricultural commodities in the most recent year for which data is available changed since 2000?
- Why has corn production in the US and sugarcane production in Brazil increased recently? What markets, agroecological and socioeconomic factors do the case study readings and FAO video explain have contributed to the increased production of corn in the US and sugarcane in Brazil?
- What might socioeconomic, agricultural, and environmental factors explain the significant increase of the four commodities that increased most since 2000 on a global scale?
- Consider how the increased production of these four commodities likely impacts the soil, nutrient cycling, pest populations, and ecology of an agroecosystem? What are the potential pros and cons of these crops on soil, nutrient cycling, greenhouse gases, other ecological impacts; What are the socio-economic impacts? Distinguish the most significant impacts, and discuss why there are significant advantages or disadvantages of the expansion of these top 4 commodities. The pros and cons may be socioeconomic and/or environmental.
Files to Download
FAO Top 20 Commodity Changes Key spreadsheet (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 53kB Jan3 18)
Download the worksheet (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 139kB Jan3 18) to submit your assessment
Submitting Your Paper
Submit your paper online in the folder provided in your course management system.
Grading and Rubric
This assignment is worth a total of 55 points. Please read over the rubric to understand how the assignment will be graded.
|List the top 15 agricultural commodities from the FAO website. (each commodity worth 1/5 point)||5 points|
Accurate description of the crop types used to produce the commodities, plant family, the crop life cycle, temperature, C3/C4 classifications (1/4 point for accurate identification of the four crop characteristics for each crop commodity)
|Answer accurately and quantitatively describes if and how the production of the top commodities has changed since 2000 and which 4 commodities have increased the most and quantitatively how much production has changed. Up to 4 points may be deducted for incomplete or inaccurate responses.||4 points|
Answer accurately explains what factors explain the increased production of corn in the US and sugarcane in Brazil. The explanation links to the Module concepts and earlier modules. Analysis and critical thinking are accurate. Up to 4 points may be deducted for incomplete answers that are not detailed or not grounded in Module and course concepts,
|Answer offers a rationale and clear explanation for commodity production change of the four crops with the most significant increase in production that links to the Module concepts and earlier modules. Analysis and critical thinking are accurate. Up to 4 points may be deducted for incomplete answers that are not detailed or not grounded in Module and course concepts,||4 points|
|Analysis and selection of the potential advantages and disadvantages of changes in production of the 4 crops are accurately and clearly described. Full credit answers should provide a rationale for which pros and cons are most significant, and integrate information from this Module, and other course modules (1-2 points for each pro and con and the rationale for why they are important). Inaccurate or incomplete pros and cons will be reduced by 3, 2 or 1 point.||8 points|
|Answers are grammatically correct, well organized and clear. Up to 5 points may be deducted for poor writing.|