Agricultural Systems Webquest

Agricultural Systems Webquest
Use the following website and set of instructions to guide you.
Step 1: Mapping agriculture
You have a packet of maps labeled wheat, soybean, rice, maize, potato, sorghum. After going to
the website, scroll until you find the button called Land Cover: Mapmaker Interactive. Open
this in a new link. Once on the new link you should eliminate the layer titled Land Cover by
clicking the small x. Then select “Add Layer.” On the left side, select food. Then select the
following foods: wheat, soybean, rice, maize, potato, sorghum. Select done.
Now slide the transparency for wheat to the right and the transparency for the other 4 agricultural
variations to the left. This leaves you with a map of wheat production across the globe. Color
your map labeled Wheat to match what you see and use the Legend tab to create a legend on
your map. The variables are production values IN TONS. Follow these last steps for every
category until you’ve colored all of your maps.
Questions for maps:
1) Which countries are part of the largest producers, in tons, of soybeans? Does it surprise you
that the United States is included in this group? What cultural factors may contribute to the US
being included in this group?
2) Which cluster of the world has the highest production of rice? Are there cultural or climatic
reasons for production of rice in these areas? If so, what are they?
3) Which countries produce a TON of potatoes? (Pun intended). Which two countries follow
closely behind those first two? Why do you feel Russia have such large production of potatoes?
4) Does it surprise you that sorghum production is so high in the United States? If we are not
directly consuming the product, why would we be growing the food? (Hint, it isn’t trade)
5) Which countries produce at the highest 2 levels for wheat? Look back at the production for
EACH again…are there any countries who have high production for ALL products? What can
you infer about the relationship between economic power and agricultural production, if any?
Step 2: Regions and their resources
Click the buttons for the following regions and open them in new tabs: Europe, Africa, North America, Australia, and South America.
*You can send an email to National Geographic to ask why they didn’t include Asia, but I do not know.* Fill in the following chart.
Important Crops
Important facts
Forestry and Fishing
Fun Fact from
Mining/Drilling or
Built Environment
North America
South America
Questions for the Chart:
1) Describe problems faced by the African continent in forestry and fishing.
2) Explain why the African continent is capable of being a leading producer in fish without
necessarily gaining from the trade or exportation of this product.
3) In what ways are forestry industries important within Europe?
4) What steps have been taken in some states (or globally) that may harm European fishing
5) Where in N. America are the Dairy Belt, Wheat Belt, and Corn Belt?
6) What is monoculture? How is it affecting production of agriculture in North America?
7) What problems are facing individuals in Australia and Pacific Islands in fishing?
8) Which two crops are major cash crops in South America? What problems may face producers
when they focus on production of a commodity sold in world markets?
Step 3:
Return to the homepage. Click to access “dwindling food variety” to find a visual representation
of the decline of food variety in the world. After looking at the image, do some research on the
Svarlbard Global Seed Vault. Discuss the importance of crop variety for the world in the future
in half a page.