Grasses and people

Crop improvement

Introduction to crop improvement, including plant breeding and genetic engineering.

Photograph of a field of hybrid maize. On the right side of the field is a mowed area in which signs have been placed at regular intervals. The signs are yellow and white and are labeled with the brand and code for different types of seed. The nearest sign says "Supreme EX Brand Seed 1083AMX-R."


Overview of cereals, including the parts of a cereal, types of domesticated cereals, processing grain from cereals, and characteristics that changed during domestication of cereals.

Photograph of an ear of six-row barley. The photo shows dry spikelets with long awns attached to an ear of barley.


Introduction to sugar from grasses, including types of sugar, sugar from sugarcane, sweet sorghum and sorghum syrup, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.

Photograph of a bowl of while sugar with a broken sugarcane stalk resting on it.


Introduction to biofuels from grasses, including bioethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, and biogas and biomethane.

Photograph of fuel selection buttons on a gas pump. The options are E85 (85% ethanol), E30 (30% ethanol), E15 (15% ethanol), unleaded, and premium.

Alcoholic beverages

An overview of alcoholic beverages made from grasses, including both fermented and distilled beverages.

Photograph of bottles of sake with ceramic drinking cups in front of them. The sake bottles vary in height, color, shape, and label.

Lawns and lawn grasses

An overview of lawns, including common lawn grasses, the benefits and drawbacks of lawns, lawn grass alternatives, and sustainable lawn maintenance.

Photograph of a bright green mowed lawn.

Ornamental grasses

Introduction to ornamental grasses and their decorative, aromatic, and cultural uses.

Photograph showing an inflorescence of bunny tails, which looks fluffy and white.

Grasses and climate change

An overview of how a changing climate is affecting agricultural grasses and how growers are adapting, the effects of climate change on wild grasslands, and how grasslands can be part of climate change solutions.

Photo of a farmer looking at his wheat field

Quick facts

Quick facts pages about topics related to the theme of grasses and people:

Photograph of a turf baseball field. The lines are distinct, the green is uniform and there are no brown patches of dirt among the artificial grass.

Other topics

A list of topics related to the theme of grasses and people from other parts of this website:

Photograph showing a detail of off-white adlay grains.