Some parts of the world have an extreme climate, in which summers are not and winters are cold. The rainfall is also less. Only grasses grow in such regions.
Most of the grasslands of the world are found in the temperate zone. These grasslands are known by different names in different continents.
The prairies are located in the northern Hemisphere, roughly half-way between the equator and the North Pole. The area was once covered with thick, tall grasses. Before the coming of the Europeans, it was a grazing ground for bison. Today, it is the biggest farming region of the world.
In the prairies, winter is cold and summers hot. A moderate rainfall of about 50 to 70 cm occurs, mostly in the summer seasons. The amount of rainfall varies greatly from year to year.
Trees are rare in the prairies, except along the rivers. The climate is not suitable for growing trees. Grass grows quickly during the spring season and change to hay in autumn. European settlers used the prairies
Wheat is man crop. Farmers produce enough for the whole country and also for export. That is why the prairies are called the wheat Basket of the world.
The entire farm work of plugging, sowing, harvesting, threshing and winnowing is done with the help of machines. The storing of food grains in the silos is also done by machines. Thus, only few workers are able to cultivate thousands of hectares.
Surplus production has made the farmers rich. They have all the modern facilities and comforts.
The open land towards the west is hilly. The soil is coarse and less fertile. Animals are reared on large open areas called ranches. Cattle are reared mainly for beef. A large part of the total beef produced is consumed locally. The rest is export to Europe.
Most of the slaughter houses are located in cities. Chicago, on the southern tip of Lake Michigan, is an important center for slaughtering animals.
Many minerals are found in the prairies. Lignite coal and mineral oil are mined in a large quantity. Ore- crushing factories and oil refineries have been developed. The important industries in the prairies are meat –packing factories and flour mills.
• The Mississippi and the Missouri are two big rivers pass thorough the prairie of North America.
• Every continent except Antarctica has grasslands. They are called by different names-
• a) North America~ Prairies.
• b) Argentina~ Pampas.
• c) South Africa~ Velds
• d) Europe- Asia~ Steppes
• e) Australia~ Downs