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{{other uses}}(File:Dhaniyangal.jpg|thumb|Food grains at a market)A grain is a small, hard, dry seed, with or without an attached hull or fruit layer, harvested for human or animal consumption.Babcock, P. G., ed. 1976. Webster's Third New International Dictionary. Springfield, Massachusetts: G. & C. Merriam Co. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and legumes. After being harvested, dry grains are more durable than other staple foods, such as starchy fruits (plantains, breadfruit, etc.) and tubers (sweet potatoes, cassava, and more). This durability has made grains well suited to industrial agriculture, since they can be mechanically harvested, transported by rail or ship, stored for long periods in silos, and milled for flour or pressed for oil. Thus, major global commodity markets exist for maize, rice, soybeans, wheat and other grains but not for tubers, vegetables, or other crops.

Grains and cereal

Grains and cereal are synonymous with caryopses, the fruits of the grass family. In agronomy and commerce, seeds or fruits from other plant families are called grains if they resemble caryopses. For example, amaranth is sold as "grain amaranth", and amaranth products may be described as "whole grains". The pre-Hispanic civilizations of the Andes had grain-based food systems but, at the higher elevations, none of the grains was a cereal. All three grains native to the Andes (kaniwa, kiwicha, and quinoa) are broad-leafed plants rather than grasses such as corn, rice, and wheat.WEB, Office of International Affairs, National Academies of the, 1989, Lost Crops of the Incas: Little-Known Plants of the Andes with Promise for Worldwide Cultivation, National Academy Press, Washington D.C., 24,weblink


Cereal grains

File:Dinrêyes.jpg|thumb|Cereal grain seeds clockwise from top-left: wheat, spelt, oat, barleybarleyAll cereal crops are members of the grass family (Poaceae).Vaughan, J. G., C. Geissler, B. Nicholson, E. Dowle, and E. Rice. 1997. The New Oxford Book of Food Plants. Oxford University Press. Cereal grains contain a substantial amount of starch, a carbohydrate that provides dietary energy.

Warm-season cereals

Cool-season cereals

File:Gerstenkoerner.jpg|100px|thumb|BarleyBarley(File:Rye grains.JPG|100px|thumb|Rye grains)File:Rice grains (IRRI).jpg|100px|thumb|Rice grains by the IRRIIRRI

Pseudocereal grains

File:Fagopyrum гречка.jpg|100px|thumb|BuckwheatBuckwheatStarchy grains from broadleaf (dicot) plant families:


File:Lens culinaris seeds.jpg|100px|thumb|LentilLentilPulses or grain legumes, members of the pea family, have a higher protein content than most other plant foods, at around 20%, while soybeans have as much as 35%. As is the case with all other whole plant foods, pulses also contain carbohydrate and fat. Common pulses include:


Oilseed grains are grown primarily for the extraction of their edible oil. Vegetable oils provide dietary energy and some essential fatty acids. They are also used as fuel and lubricants.BOOK,weblink World Oilseeds, Salunkhe, D. K., 1992-02-29, Springer Science & Business Media, 9780442001124, en,

Mustard family

File:Canola.jpg|100px|thumb|Rapeseed ]]

Aster family

File:Sunflowers seeds.jpg|100px|thumb|Sunflower seedSunflower seed

Other families

Historical impact of grain agriculture

Because grains are small, hard and dry, they can be stored, measured, and transported more readily than can other kinds of food crops such as fresh fruits, roots and tubers. The development of grain agriculture allowed excess food to be produced and stored easily which could have led to the creation of the first permanent settlements and the division of society into classes.Wessel, T. 1984. "The Agricultural Foundations of Civilization". Journal of Agriculture and Human Values 1:9–12

Occupational safety and health

Those who handle grain at grain facilities may encounter numerous occupational hazards and exposures. Risks include grain entrapment, where workers are submerged in the grain and unable to remove themselves;WEB,weblink Frequently Asked Questions About Flowing Grain Entrapment, Grain Rescue and Strategies, and Grain Entrapment Prevention Measures, April 2011, Agricultural Safety and Health Program, Purdue University, 1, November 4, 2012, explosions caused by fine particles of grain dust,WEB,weblink Combustible Dust in Industry: Preventing and Mitigating the Effects of Fire and Explosions, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, United States Department of Labor, Safety and Health Information Bulletin, 29 October 2013, and falls.

See also

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{{Commons category|Grain}}{{Wiktionary}}{{Wikisource}}
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