Table 1.

Major world crops ranked by metric tonnage

Rank by tonnage*Common nameRank by calories consumed*PloidyPropagationLife history
1Sugarcane4O, VP
2Maize3OA
3Wheat2OA
4Rice1SA
5Potatoes6O, VAP
6Sugar beet8OA
7Soybeans5SA
8Cassava9O, VAP
9Palm kernel7OP
10Barley11SA
11Sweet potatoes154–6×O, VAP
12Tomatoes30SA
13Watermelons38OA
14Bananas19VP
15Brassicas37OA
  • O, outcrossing; S, selfing; V, vegetative; P, perennial; A, annual; AP, perennial species generally cultivated as annuals.

  • *Data are from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (www.fao.org, 2004).