Grain Production Strong But Fails to Set Record

In 2009, farmers produced a near-record crop of grains worldwide: more than 2.25 billion tons.1 (See Figure 1.) While this was a decline from the all-time high set in 2008, the grain crop has had a 21-percent increase since 2000 and a 180-percent increase since recordkeeping began in 1961.2 Most of the gains made over time are due to increased yields, as the total amount of land dedicated to annual grain harvests has remained relatively stable.3

Grains include large crops of wheat, rice, and maize—all in the top 10 list by value of annual production—and are used for human food, animal feed, and industrial products.4 Global per capita production declined slightly in 2009 to reach 330 kilograms grown per person.5 However, grains consumed by people for food increased slightly over the previous year to reach 152.1 kilograms per person.6

Asia stayed the global leader in grain production, growing nearly 44 percent of the world’s crop in 2009.7 (See Table 1.) Rice continues to be the biggest crop in the region and accounted for 42 percent of all grains grown there.8

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