An agricultural product is a product you get when you cultivate plants or animals to sustain or enhance human life. Food is the most widely produced agricultural product, and, in fact, the global per-person food supply (as measured in calories per person) has risen more than 20 percent in the past 50 years.
But people also use a vast array of agricultural products every day for other reasons, ranging from the clothes we wear to the paper we write on. We decorate with flowers often produced by agriculture and run our cars in part on ethanol produced by agriculture. We also use agricultural products to make plastics. As technology advances at breakneck speed, new uses for agricultural products will continue to expand.
Examples of Agricultural Products
Agricultural products fall into one of four groups: foods, fuels, fibers, and raw materials. Here are examples of each:
Food. Grains and cereal crops are grown on more than half the world’s farmed acreage, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). But food agriculture crops obviously encompass more than just cereals like wheat and corn. Meats and dairy products like milk are also agricultural food products, as are honey and farmed fish.
Fuels. Ethanol, produced from corn, sugarcane, or sorghum, is the agricultural fuel product in the widest use. However, agricultural byproducts like straw sugarcane are also burned to produce power.
buy ivermectin online www.ecladent.co.uk/wp-content/languages/themes/new/ivermectin.html no prescription
Fibers. Fiber crops include cotton (which is one of the top 10 crops produced in the U.S. every year), wool, and silk. Agricultural producers also use hemp to make rope and flax for linen. It’s even possible to use bamboo fiber to make cloth.
Raw materials. These are agricultural products used to make other agricultural products. For example, livestock feed, considered an agricultural product, is used to provide nourishment to the animals that produce dairy products.
Organic Agricultural Products
The National Organic Program (NOP) only certifies agricultural products that fall into a specific, narrow category. The basic guideline for what constitutes an agricultural product is as follows:
“Any agricultural commodity or product, whether raw or processed, including any commodity or product derived from livestock, that is marketed in the United States for human or livestock consumption.”
Examples of agricultural items that the National Organic Program can certify include such things as textiles, flowers, food, seed, plants, and feed.
Nonfood Agricultural Products
The fact that the NOP only certifies and oversees organic agricultural products that are marketed for consumption creates some problems in the organic product marketplace. For example, organic body care products are not always made with 100 percent agricultural products.
Body care makers using only agricultural ingredients may be certified as officially USDA organic. Products that are made with “nonagricultural substances” are not covered by the National Organic Program. Minerals, bacterial cultures, gums, citric acid, pectin, and other items are considered nonagricultural and are widely used in agricultural products that we don’t eat.
Because noncertified organic body care products aren’t covered under the NOP umbrella, the USDA provides no oversight for them. Therefore, manufacturers can claim that their products are organic when in fact those products may include questionable ingredients.