commodity crops

Crops grown, typically in large volume and at high intensity, specifically for the purpose of sale to the commodities market (as opposed to direct consumption or processing. Many commodity crops re-enter the food production industry in some way: as oils, sweeteners, fillers and starches, or as animal feed for meat, milk, and egg production. They are also used in industrial manufacturing processes and even as substrate for producing biofuels. Environmentally, commodity crops are nearly always grown as large monocultures, sometimes from genetically-modified seeds and requiring heavy soil augmentation and pesticide application. Soil degradation, nutrient runoff, and habitat and species damage all result from these situations.


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