Monday, August 23, 2010

Grassland Crops

The grassland has thick, rich soil. This soil is great for certain crops. The most popular crops of the grassland area in Africa are: wheat, maize,rice, peanuts, cotton, cocoa, coffee, and rubber.

Agriculture is undoubtedly the most important sector in the economies of most non-oil exporting African countries. It contributes about 50% of the total export value, with 70% of the continent's population depending on the sector for their livelihood.

Climates of Africa

Climate: The grassland of Africa is located in the Tropical Wet and Tropical Wet and Dry Climate. This climate is cool in the winter and hot in the summer. This climate produces 25-75cm of precipitation per year.

In the Tropical Wet/Dry climate there is a distinct dry season, which is in the winter. The African grasslands get all their rain in the summer months. During the distinct dry season, most of the plants shrivel up and die. Some rivers and streams dry up. Most of the animals migrate to find food. In the wet season all of the plants are lush and the rivers flow freely. The animals migrate back to graze. In West Africa the rainy season begins in May.

Grassland Animals

Some of the animals you may find in the African Grassland are: zebras, lions, hyenas, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and vultures.

Most of the animals in the African grasslands have long legs or wings to be able to go on long migrations. Many burrow under ground to avoid the heat or raise their young. The grasslands are a perfect place for birds of prey like hawks and buzzards. The wide, open plain provides them with a clear view of their prey, hot air updrafts keep them soaring, and there is the occasional tree to rest on or nest in. The African grasslands have a large range of highly specialized plants and animals. They all depend on the each other to keep the environment in balance.

A Tour of the African Grassland

If you were to walk through the African grassland, you would see a rolling open land scattered with grass, shrubs, and isolated trees. You would also find scattered water sources such as small puddles or ponds. (Not enough rain falls on these grasslands to support large water sources.) You would also see animals such as zebra drinking from a puddle, rhinoceroses grazing in the grass, leopards lounging in trees, or African Pygmy mice burrowing in the ground. Watch your step for snakes hiding in the high grasses and watch the horizon for charging elephants and lions!