Grain was obtained from different kind of cereals, specially wheat, barley and rye, and in more recent centuries, maize. Many local breeds were developed throughout Europe.
Traditionally, when the grain was mature and ready for harvesting, the cereal was cut with sickles, and put on the ground in piles made of sheafs. After harvesting , sheafs were carried to a place, normally a plain, in which they could be threshed. Threshing was made using flails, and in more recent time, by stem or fuel-powered machines. Once separated, the straw was stored in haystacks, barns, or similar structures, and the grain in different kinds of granaries (see the storage section). Grain was (and is) mainly used for livestock feeding, and food production after being milled and processed to flour.
GRAIN IN DIFFERENT COUNTRIES
PortugalThe distribution of wheat (Triticum spp.) more or less coincides with Mediterranean Portugal. Maize (Zea mays ssp. mays) more or less coincides with Atlantic Portugal, and rye (Secale cereale) more or less coincides with the mountainous interior (Tras-os-Montes).
Rice (Oryza sativa) is also an important carbohydrate crop in Portugal. The average annual consumption per capita is 16 kg of white rice, the highest consumption in the European Union. The production is not high enough to cover the needs; that's the reason why about 150.000 ton per year of rice is imported. There are four potential rice production regions in Portugal:
The total rice surface depends on the quantity and quality of irrigated water available. The maximum area for rice production in Portugal permitted by the EU is 34 thousand hectares. However, due to several reasons, mainly climactic factors, the last years, this value was not reached. Concerning the total rice production area, the distribution is the following: 23% (region 1 - Beira Litoral), 32% (region 2 - Ribatejo e Oeste), 43% (region 3 - Alentejo) and 2% (region 4 - Algarve), respectively. In all these regions continuous rice cropping is practised, with one crop per year (monoculture).
- Beira Litoral (Vouga, Mondego and Lis rivers);
- Ribatejo e Oeste (Tejo and Sorraia rivers);
- Alentejo (Sado, Mira and Guadiana rivers) and
- Algarve (Silves and Lagoa dams).
The climatic conditions differ from region to region. In Beira Litoral frequently early morning fog occurs. The temperatures are lower in this region than in the others. In October the rainfall starts normally in the middle of the month and in the other regions at the end of the month. Therefore seeding and harvest time change from region to region.
Zea mays ssp. mays
Zea mays ssp. mays
Play the grain strain.