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Crop

by Zahid Ahmed
Crop

A crop is a plant or group of plants that is grown and harvested for food, livestock feed, or other commercial use. Crops are an important source of nutrients and energy for people around the world, and they are a vital part of many cultures and economies. There are many different types of crops, including grains (such as wheat, rice, and corn), fruits and vegetables, legumes (such as beans and peas), and oilseeds (such as soybeans and canola).

Crops are grown using a variety of methods, including conventional farming, organic farming, and hydroponics. The specific methods used to grow a crop depend on factors such as the type of crop being grown, the local climate and soil conditions, and the resources and equipment available to the farmer.

Etymology

The word “crop” comes from the Old English word “cropp,” which means “the top of a plant.” It originally referred to the top part of a plant that is harvested, such as the top of a grain plant or the head of a lettuce plant. Over time, the meaning of the word has expanded to include any plant or group of plants that is grown and harvested for food or other purposes. The word “crop” is related to other words in English that refer to plants, including “garden,” which comes from the Old English word “geard,” and “cultivate,” which comes from the Latin word “cultivare,” meaning “to till or cultivate land.”

Botanical definition

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), “a crop is any plant grown and harvested for food, fuel, feed, or other non-food products.” This definition includes annual and perennial plants, as well as plants grown in both natural and artificial environments. The FAO further explains that crops can be classified into different categories based on their botanical characteristics, including their family, genus, and species.

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For example, wheat (Triticum aestivum) is a type of grain that belongs to the grass family (Poaceae), the genus Triticum, and the species aestivum. Similarly, soybeans (Glycine max) are a type of legume that belong to the pea family (Fabaceae), the genus Glycine, and the species max.

Global statistics about crop

It is difficult to provide global statistics about crops because the types of crops grown, the areas where they are grown, and the quantities produced can vary significantly from one region to another. However, here are a few general statistics about global crop production:

Global statistics about crop

The top five crops by global production in 2021 were:

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  • Corn: 1,090 million metric tons
  • Wheat: 765 million metric tons
  • Rice: 765 million metric tons
  • Soybean: 345 million metric tons
  • Potato: 300 million metric tons

The top five producing countries for corn in 2021 were:

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  • China: 301 million metric tons
  • United States: 300 million metric tons
  • Brazil: 128 million metric tons
  • India: 104 million metric tons
  • Indonesia: 67 million metric tons

The top five producing countries for wheat in 2021 were:

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  • China: 131 million metric tons
  • India: 102 million metric tons
  • Russia: 83 million metric tons
  • United States: 49 million metric tons
  • France: 41 million metric tons

The top five producing countries for rice in 2021 were:

  • China: 143 million metric tons
  • India: 120 million metric tons
  • Indonesia: 59 million metric tons
  • Bangladesh: 41 million metric tons
  • Vietnam: 40 million metric tons

The top five producing countries for soybean in 2021 were:

  • United States: 115 million metric tons
  • Brazil: 115 million metric tons
  • Argentina: 50 million metric tons
  • China: 15 million metric tons
  • India: 12 million metric tons

It’s important to note that these statistics are estimates and can vary from one year to another due to factors such as weather, disease, and market conditions.

Types of crop

There are many different types of crops that are grown around the world, and they can be classified in various ways, including by their botanical classification, the type of product they produce, and the way they are grown. Here are some examples of different types of crops.

Types of crop based on botanical classification

1. Grains: Grains are a type of crop that are grown for their seeds, which are used for food or animal feed. Examples of grains include wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley, and rye.

Types of crop based on botanical classification

2. Legumes: Legumes are a type of crop that are grown for their seeds, which are used for food or animal feed. Legumes are also known for their high protein content. Examples of legumes include beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, and soybeans.

3. Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are a type of crop that are grown for their edible parts, which are used for food or as ingredients in various products. Examples of fruits include apples, bananas, and berries, while examples of vegetables include lettuce, broccoli, and potatoes.

4. Oilseeds: Oilseeds are a type of crop that are grown for their oil-rich seeds, which can be used for cooking or as an ingredient in products such as biodiesel. Examples of oilseeds include soybeans, canola, and sunflowers.

5. Nuts: Nuts are a type of crop that are grown for their seeds, which are enclosed in a hard shell. Examples of nuts include almonds, walnuts, and pecans.

6. Herbs: Herbs are a type of crop that are grown for their leaves, stems, or flowers, which are used for culinary, medicinal, or decorative purposes. Examples of herbs include basil, mint, and rosemary.

7. Spices: Spices are a type of crop that are grown for their seeds, bark, roots, or other parts, which are used to add flavor or aroma to food. Examples of spices include cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric.

8. Forage crops: Forage crops are a type of crop that are grown for animal feed, such as hay or pasture grass.

9. Fiber crops: Fiber crops are a type of crop that are grown for their fibers, which are used to produce a wide range of products, including textiles, paper, and building materials. Here are some examples of fiber crops: cotton, flax, hemp, jute, etc.

10. Roots and tubers: Roots and tubers are a type of crop that are grown for their underground parts, which are used for food. Examples of roots and tubers include carrots, beets, and potatoes.

11. Berries: Berries are a type of crop that are grown for their edible fruit and are typically small, sweet, and juicy. Examples of berries include strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.

Types of crop based on season

Crops can be classified based on the season in which they are grown. Here are some examples of crops based on the season in which they are typically grown:

1. Rabi: Rabi crops are a type of crop that are grown during the dry season, typically from November to April. These crops are usually planted in the fall and harvested in the spring. Examples of rabi crops include wheat, barley, and pulses.

Types of crop based on season

2. Kharif: Kharif crops are a type of crop that are grown during the rainy season, typically from June to October. These crops are usually planted in late spring or early summer and harvested in the fall. Examples of kharif crops include rice, maize, sorghum, and millets.

3. Zaid: Zaid crops are a type of crop that are grown during the hot and dry season, typically from March to June. These crops are usually planted in the late winter or early spring and harvested in the summer. Examples of zaid crops include watermelon, muskmelon, and cucumber.

4. Zaid Rabi: Zaid Rabi crops are a type of crop that are grown during the transition period between the rabi and zaid seasons, typically in April and May. These crops are usually planted in the early spring and harvested in the late spring or early summer. Examples of rabi-zaid crops include vegetables, flowers, and herbs.

Types of crop based on growth habits

Crops can also be classified based on their growth habit, which refers to the way in which a plant grows and develops. Here are some examples of crops based on their growth habit:

1. Annual crops: Annual crops are a type of crop that complete their life cycle (from seed to flower to seed) within one growing season. Examples of annual crops include wheat, corn, and beans.

Types of crop based on growth habits

2. Biennial crops: Biennial crops are a type of crop that require two growing seasons to complete their life cycle. In the first year, they grow leaves and roots, and in the second year, they produce flowers and seeds. Examples of biennial crops include carrots, beets, and onions.

3. Perennial crops: Perennial crops are a type of crop that can live for more than two years and typically produce fruit or other products on a yearly basis. Examples of perennial crops include fruit trees, berry bushes, and nut trees.

Types of crops based on importance

Crops can be classified based on their importance, which can be measured in various ways, such as their economic value, nutritional value, or cultural significance. Here are some examples of crops based on their importance:

1. Major crops: Major crops are a type of crop that are widely grown and have a significant economic, nutritional, or cultural impact. Examples of major crops include grains, legumes, and oilseeds, which are important sources of food and feed for people and animals around the world.

2. Minor crops: Minor crops are a type of crop that are grown on a smaller scale and may have a lesser economic, nutritional, or cultural impact. Examples of minor crops include spices, herbs, and ornamental plants, which are often grown for specialty or niche markets.

3. Staple crops: Staple crops are a type of crop that are grown in large quantities and are an important source of food for a particular region or culture. Examples of staple crops include rice, wheat, and corn, which are widely consumed around the world.

4. Cash crops: Cash crops are a type of crop that are grown for sale rather than for personal consumption. Examples of cash crops include coffee, cocoa, and tobacco, which are grown for export or for sale to domestic markets.

Types of crops based on importance

5. Subsistence crops: Subsistence crops are a type of crop that are grown for personal or family consumption, rather than for sale. These crops are often grown by small-scale farmers in developing countries and may be a critical source of food security for the families that grow them. Examples of subsistence crops include beans, cassava, and sweet potatoes.

6. Strategic crops: Strategic crops are a type of crop that are grown for their strategic value, such as their ability to provide essential materials or to support national security. Examples of strategic crops include cotton, rubber, and hemp, which are used to produce a wide range of products, including clothing, tires, and medical supplies.

7. Specialty crops: Specialty crops are a type of crop that are grown for their unique characteristics or for niche markets. Examples of specialty crops include organic produce, heirloom varieties, and exotic fruits and vegetables, which may be in high demand by consumers who are looking for specialized or unusual products.

8. Bioenergy crops: Bioenergy crops are a type of crop that are grown specifically for use as a source of bioenergy, such as biofuels or biopower. Examples of bioenergy crops include corn, sugarcane, and switchgrass, which can be used to produce ethanol, biodiesel, and electricity.

9. Industrial crops: Industrial crops are a type of crop that are grown for non-food purposes, such as the production of biofuels, fibers, or natural rubber. Examples of industrial crops include corn, sugarcane, and bamboo.

10. Ornamental crops: Ornamental crops are a type of crop that are grown for their attractive appearance or fragrance, and are often used in landscaping or as cut flowers. Examples of ornamental crops include roses, tulips, and daffodils.

List of crops

Here is a list of crops with their common names and scientific names, arranged alphabetically:

  1. Apple (Malus domestica): Apple is a fruit tree that is native to Central Asia and is widely grown in temperate regions around the world. Apples are an important source of nutrition and are used to make a variety of products, including juice, cider, and baked goods.
  2. Banana (Musa spp.): Banana is a fruit tree that is native to Southeast Asia and is widely grown in tropical regions around the world. Bananas are an important source of nutrition and are used to make a variety of products, including juice, ice cream, and chips.
  3. Barley (Hordeum vulgare): Barley is a cereal grain that is native to the Near East and is widely grown in temperate regions around the world. Barley is used for food, feed, and as a raw material in the production of beer and other alcoholic beverages.
  4. Bean (Phaseolus spp.): Bean is a legume that is native to the Americas and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Beans are an important source of protein and are used to make a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and salads.
  5. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea): Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely grown in temperate regions around the world. Cabbage is an important source of vitamins and minerals and is used to make a variety of dishes, including coleslaw and sauerkraut.
  6. Carrot (Daucus carota): Carrot is a root vegetable that is native to Europe and is widely grown in temperate regions around the world. Carrots are an important source of vitamin A and are used to make a variety of dishes, including salads and soups.
  7. Cassava (Manihot esculenta): Cassava is a root vegetable that is native to South America and is widely grown in tropical regions around the world. Cassava is an important source of food and is used to make a variety of dishes, including bread, porridge, and chips.List of crops
  8. Corn (Zea mays): Corn, also known as maize, is a cereal grain that is native to Central America and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Corn is used for food, feed, and industrial purposes.
  9. Cotton (Gossypium spp.): Cotton is a fiber crop that is native to tropical and subtropical regions and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Cotton is used to produce a wide range of products, including clothing, towels, and medical supplies.
  10. Eggplant (Solanum melongena): Eggplant is a fruit vegetable that is native to South Asia and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Eggplant is used to make a variety of dishes, including ratatouille and baba ghanoush.
  11. Garlic (Allium sativum): Garlic is a bulbous vegetable that is native to Central Asia and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Garlic is used to add flavor to a variety of dishes and has been used medicinally for centuries.
  12. Grape (Vitis spp.): Grape is a fruit that is native to the temperate regions of the Old World and is widely grown around the world. Grapes are used to make a variety of products, including wine, juice, and raisins.
  13. Mango (Mangifera indica): Mango is a fruit tree that is native to South Asia and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Mango is an important source of nutrition and is used to make a variety of products, including juice, jam, and ice cream.
  14. Melon (Cucumis melo): Melon is a fruit vegetable that is native to Africa and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Melon is an important source of hydration and is used to make a variety of dishes, including salads and smoothies.
  15. Onion (Allium cepa): Onion is a bulbous vegetable that is native to Central Asia and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Onion is used to add flavor to a variety of dishes and has been used medicinally for centuries.
  16. Orange (Citrus sinensis): Orange is a fruit tree that is native to Southeast Asia and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Orange is an important source of vitamin C and is used to make a variety of products, including juice, marmalade, and candied peel.
  17. Pea (Pisum sativum): Pea is a legume that is native to the Mediterranean region and is widely grown in temperate regions around the world. Peas are an important source of protein and are used to make a variety of dishes, including soups, stews, and salads.
  18. Peanut (Arachis hypogaea): Peanut is a legume that is native to South America and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Peanuts are an important source of protein and are used to make a variety of products, including peanut butter, oil, and snacks.
  19. Pepper (Capsicum spp.): Pepper is a fruit vegetable that is native to the Americas and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Pepper is used to add flavor to a variety of dishes and has a wide range of heat levels, from mild to fiery hot.
  20. Potato (Solanum tuberosum): Potato is a root vegetable that is native to the Andes region of South America and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Potatoes are an important source of nutrition and are used to make a variety of dishes, including fries, mashed potatoes, and chips.
  21. Pumpkin (Cucurbita spp.): Pumpkin is a fruit vegetable that is native to the Americas and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Pumpkin is used to make a variety of dishes, including pies, soups, and bread.
  22. Rice (Oryza sativa): Rice is a cereal grain that is native to tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and is widely grown in humid regions around the world. Rice is the staple food for billions of people around the world.
  23. Strawberry (Fragaria spp.): Strawberry is a fruit that is native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Strawberry is an important source of vitamin C and is used to make a variety of products, including juice, jam, and ice cream.
  24. Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris): Sugar beet is a root vegetable that is native to Europe and is widely grown in temperate regions around the world. Sugar beet is used to make sugar and other sweeteners.
  25. Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum): Sugar cane is a grass that is native to tropical and subtropical regions of South Asia and is widely grown in warm regions around the world. Sugar cane is used to make sugar and other sweeteners.
  26. Sunflower (Helianthus annuus): Sunflower is a flowering plant that is native to the Americas and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Sunflower is used to make a variety of products, including oil, flour, and birdseed.
  27. Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas): Sweet potato is a root vegetable that is native to the Americas and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Sweet potato is an important source of nutrition and is used to make a variety of dishes.
  28. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum): Tomato is a fruit vegetable that is native to South America and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Tomato is used to make a variety of dishes, including sauce, soup, and salad.
  29. Wheat (Triticum spp.): Wheat is a cereal grain that is native to the Near East and is widely grown in temperate regions around the world. Wheat is used to make a variety of products, including flour, bread, and pasta.
  30. Yams (Dioscorea spp.): Yams are a root vegetable that is native to tropical regions of Africa, Asia, and the Americas and is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. Yams are an important source of nutrition and are used to make a variety of dishes, including chips and stews.
  31. Zucchini (Cucurbita pepo): Zucchini is a fruit vegetable that is native to the Americas and is widely grown in a variety of climates around the world. Zucchini is used to make a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, and bread.

Guide to grow crop

Growing crops can be a rewarding and fulfilling activity, whether you are a seasoned farmer or a beginner gardener. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Choose the right location: Select a site that has good drainage, adequate sunlight, and access to water. Make sure the soil is suitable for the type of crop you want to grow.

Prepare the soil: Loosen the soil with a shovel or tiller and add compost or other organic matter to improve the soil structure and fertility. Test the soil to determine the pH and nutrient levels and add amendments as needed.

Select the right seeds or plants: Choose seeds or plants that are well-suited to your local climate and soil conditions. Consider factors such as the length of your growing season, the amount of sunlight and water available, and the size and spacing of the plants.

Plant the seeds or plants: Follow the seed packet or plant label instructions for the best time to plant, the depth and spacing of the seeds or plants, and any other special care requirements. Water the seeds or plants thoroughly after planting.

Guide to grow crop

Water and fertilize: Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and fertilize according to the needs of the specific crop you are growing. Follow the recommendations on the seed packet or plant label for the best fertilization schedule.

Monitor and control pests and diseases: Keep an eye out for pests and diseases that can damage your crops and take steps to prevent or control them. This may include using pesticides, removing infected plants, or implementing other preventive measures.

Harvest the crops: When the crops are ready to be harvested, use the appropriate tools and techniques to carefully remove them from the ground or the plant. Follow any specific storage and handling instructions to ensure the best quality and shelf life of the crops.

Conclusion

Crops are vital to human survival and play a central role in our food, fuel, and fiber needs. From grains and vegetables to fruits and fibers, the diversity of crops reflects the wide range of climates and soil conditions in which they are grown. With careful planning and management, it is possible to grow a variety of crops, even in small spaces, and enjoy the benefits of fresh, nutritious food and a sense of accomplishment.

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