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A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops are cultivated in
agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of , whereby farming of species created food that enabled people to live in cities. The began thousands of ...

agriculture
or
aquaculture Aquaculture (less commonly spelled aquiculture), also known as aquafarming, is the farming of fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in ...
. A crop may include macroscopic
fungus A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ve ...

fungus
(e.g.
mushroom A mushroom or toadstool is the fleshy, spore-bearing Sporocarp (fungi), fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil, or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, ''A ...

mushroom
s), or macroscopic marine
alga Algae (; singular alga ) is an informal term for a large and diverse group of photosynthesis, photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. It is a polyphyletic grouping that includes species from multiple distinct clades. Included organisms range from un ...

alga
(e.g.
seaweed Seaweed, or macroalgae, refers to thousands of species of Macroscopic scale, macroscopic, Multicellular organism, multicellular, ocean, marine algae. The term includes some types of ''Rhodophyta'' (red), ''Phaeophyta'' (brown) and ''Chlorophyta ...
). Most crops are
harvest Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of an ...

harvest
ed as
food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, protein (nutrient), proteins, vit ...

food
for humans or
fodder Fodder (), also called provender (), is any agricultural food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') ...

fodder
for
livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable ...
. Some crops are gathered from the wild (including
intensive gathering Intensive gathering entails the tending-to of wild plants. Intensive gathering or "tending" methods include weeding, discouraging predators, pot-irrigation, and limited harvesting to ensure reproduction. The same system of methods is involved in cu ...
, e.g.
ginseng Image:Insam (ginseng).jpg, 330px, A root of cultivated Korean ginseng ''(P. ginseng)'' Ginseng () is the root of plants in the genus ''Panax'', such as Korean ginseng (''Panax ginseng, P. ginseng''), South China ginseng (''Panax notoginseng, P. not ...

ginseng
, yohimbee, eucommia. Important non-food crops include horticulture, floriculture and industrial crops.
Horticulture Horticulture is the art of cultivating plants in gardens to produce food and medicinal ingredients, or for comfort and ornamental purposes. Horticulturists are agriculturists who grow flowers, fruits and nuts, vegetables and herbs, as well as orn ...
crops include plants used for other crops (e.g.
fruit trees 250px, An almond tree in bloom A fruit tree is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of ...
).
Floriculture Floriculture, or flower farming, is a discipline of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants for gardens and for floristry, comprising the floral industry. The development, via plant breeding, of new varie ...

Floriculture
crops include bedding plants, houseplants, flowering garden and pot plants, cut cultivated greens, and
cut flowers Cut flowers are flower A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproduction, reproductive structure found in flowering plants (plants of the division Magnoliophyta, also called angiosperms). The biological function of a flower ...
.
Industrial crop A nonfood crop, also known as industrial crop, is a crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most cro ...
s are produced for
clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from a ...

clothing
(
fiber crop Fiber crops are field crops grown for their fiber Fiber or fibre (from la, fibra, links=no) is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is al ...
s e.g.
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus '' Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural condition ...

cotton
),
biofuel Biofuel is fuel A fuel is any material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Thermal energy refers to several di ...

biofuel
(
energy crop Energy crops are low-cost and low-maintenance crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops ar ...
s,
algae fuel Algae fuel, algal biofuel, or algal oil is an alternative to liquid fossil fuels that uses algae Algae (; singular alga ) is an informal term for a large and diverse group of photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and ...
), or
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
(
medicinal plants Medicinal plants, also called medicinal herbs, have been discovered and used in traditional medicine 250px, Jamaica_Plain.html"_;"title="Botánicas_such_as_this_one_in_Jamaica_Plain">Botánicas_such_as_this_one_in_Jamaica_Plain,_Boston,_cate ...
).


Important food crops

The importance of a crop varies greatly by region. Globally, the following crops contribute most to human food supply (values of kcal/person/day for 2013 given in parentheses):
rice Rice is the seed of the Poaceae, grass species ''Oryza sativa'' (Asian rice) or less commonly ''Oryza glaberrima'' (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera ''Zizania (genus), Zizania'' and ''Porteresia'', bo ...

rice
(541 kcal),
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat (''T. aestivum''). The archaeological r ...

wheat
(527 kcal),
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives more than two years. The term ('' per-'' + '' -ennial'', "through the years") is often used to differen ...

sugarcane
and other sugar crops (200 kcal),
maize Maize ( ; ''Zea mays'' subsp. ''mays'', from es, maíz after tnq, mahiz), also known as corn (North American North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be ...

maize
(corn) (147 kcal),
soybean oil Soybean oil is a vegetable oil Vegetable oils, or vegetable fats, are oils extracted from seeds or from other parts of fruits. Like animal fats, vegetable fats are ''mixtures'' of triglycerides. Soybean oil, grape seed oil, and cocoa butter are ex ...
(82 kcal), other
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, fruits, stems ...

vegetable
s (74 kcal),
potato The potato is a starch Starch or amylum is a polymeric A polymer (; Greek '' poly-'', "many" + '' -mer'', "part") is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attr ...

potato
es (64 kcal),
palm oil Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil Vegetable oils, or vegetable fats, are oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substa ...

palm oil
(52 kcal),
cassava ''Manihot esculenta'', commonly called cassava (), manioc, or yuca (among numerous regional names) is a woody shrub A shrub (or bush, but this is more of a gardening term) is a small- to medium-sized perennial woody plant. Unlike herb ...

cassava
(37 kcal),
legume A legume () is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae and fungi; however, ...

legume
pulses (37 kcal),
sunflower seed The sunflower seed is the seed of the sunflower ''Helianthus'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as ...
oil (35 kcal),
rape Rape is a type of sexual assault Sexual assault is an act in which one intentionally sexually touches another person without that person's consent Consent occurs when one person voluntarily agrees to the proposal or desires of another. ...
and
mustard oil Mustard oil is an essential oil resulting from grinding the seeds, mixing them with water, and extracting the resulting volatile oil by distillation. Pressed oil This oil has a distinctive pungent taste, characteristic of all plants in the must ...
(34 kcal), other
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
s, (31 kcal),
sorghum ''Sorghum'' is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the grass family ( Poaceae). Some of these species are grown as cereals for human consumption and some in pastures for animals. One species, '' Sorghum bicolor'', was originally ...

sorghum
(28 kcal),
millet Millets () are a group of highly variable small-seeded grasses, widely grown around the world as cereal crops or grains for fodder and human food. Millets are important crops in the semiarid tropics of Asia and Africa (especially in Indi ...

millet
(27 kcal),
groundnuts
groundnuts
(25 kcal),
bean A bean is the seed of one of several genera Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. T ...

bean
s (23 kcal),
sweet potato The sweet potato or sweetpotato (''Ipomoea batatas'') is a dicotyledon The dicotyledons, also known as dicots (or more rarely dicotyls), are one of the two groups into which all the flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angio ...

sweet potato
es (22 kcal),
banana A banana is an elongated, edible fruit – botanically a berry (botany), berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus ''Musa (genus), Musa''. In some countries, Cooking banana, bananas used for c ...

banana
s (21 kcal), various nuts (16 kcal),
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When used as a dry grain, the seed is also called a pulse. Leg ...

soybean
s (14 kcal),
cottonseed oil Cottonseed oil is cooking oil Cooking oil is plant, animal, or synthetic fat In nutrition, biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chem ...
(13 kcal), groundnut oil (13 kcal), yams (13 kcal). Note that many of the globally apparently minor crops are regionally very important. For example, in Africa, roots & tubers dominate with 421 kcal/person/day, and sorghum and millet contribute 135 kcal and 90 kcal, respectively. In terms of produced weight, the following crops are the most important ones (global production in thousand metric tonnes):FAO 2015. FAO Statistical Pocketbook 2015, , p. 28


See also

* General topics and economics ** Cash crop **
Food crop A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops are cultivated in agriculture Agr ...
** Crop cultivation **
Crop yield In agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domestication, domesticated specie ...
**
Fruit tree 250px, An almond tree in bloom A fruit tree is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of ...

Fruit tree
s **
Industrial crop A nonfood crop, also known as industrial crop, is a crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most cro ...
**
Intensive crop farmingIn grammar, an intensive word form is one which denotes stronger, more forceful, or more concentrated action relative to the root on which the intensive is built. Intensives are usually lexical formations, but there may be a regular process for formi ...
**
Intercropping Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice that involves growing two or more crop A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to th ...
**
List of most valuable crops and livestock products The following list, derived from the statistics of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'alimentation et l'agricult ...
** Multiple cropping **
Neglected and underutilized crop Neglected and underused crops are domesticated plant species that have been used for centuries or more for their food, fibre, fodder, oil or medicinal properties, but have been reduced in importance over time. A wide range of terminology is used to ...
**
Permanent crop A permanent crop is one produced from plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, and included algae ...
**
Sharecropping Sharecropping is a legal arrangement with regard to agricultural land in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crops produced on that land. Sharecropping has a long history and there are a wide range o ...
**
Staple food 215px, Unprocessed seeds of spelt, a historically important staple food A staple food, food staple, or simply a staple, is a food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of pla ...

Staple food
**
Nursery Nursery may refer to: Childcare * Nursery (room), a room within the house designed for the care of a young child or children. * Nursery school, a daycare facility for preschool-age children * Prison nursery, for imprisoned mothers with their young ...
plants *
Floriculture Floriculture, or flower farming, is a discipline of horticulture concerned with the cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants for gardens and for floristry, comprising the floral industry. The development, via plant breeding, of new varie ...

Floriculture
crops *
Guerrilla gardening Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to cultivate, such as abandoned sites, areas that are not being cared for, or private property. It encompasses a diverse range of people and motiv ...

Guerrilla gardening
* Management practices **
Cover crop In agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domestication, domesticated spec ...
**
Crop destruction Crop destruction is the deliberate destruction of crops A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined s ...
**
Crop residue There are two types of agricultural Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated Domes ...
**
Crop rotation Crop rotation is the practice of growing a series of different types of crop A crop is a plant that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crops may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more r ...
**
Crop weed Crop weeds are weeds that grow amongst crops. Despite the potential for some crop weeds to be used as a food source, many can also prove harmful to crops, both directly and indirectly. Crop weeds can inhibit the growth of crops, contaminate harves ...
**
Kharif crop Kharif crops, monsoon crops or autumn crops are domesticated plants that are cultivated and harvested in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependenc ...
s (crops specific to South Asia) ** Nurse crop **
Rabi crop Image:Barley.jpg">Barley Rabi crops or rabi harvest are agricultural crops that are sown in winter and harvested in the spring in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh">India.html" ;"title="winter and harvested in the spring in India">winter and ha ...
s (crops specific to South Asia) * Genetic diversity **
Crop diversity Crop diversity is the variance in Genetics, genetic and Phenotype, phenotypic characteristics of plants used in agriculture. Over the past 50 years, there has been a major decline in two components of crop diversity; ...
**
Crop wild relative A crop wild relative (CWR) is a wild plant closely related to a domesticated plant 291px, This map shows the sites of domestication for a number of crop plants. Places where crops were initially domesticated are called centres of origin. This is ...
**
Seed bank A seed bank (also seed banks or seeds bank) stores seed A seed is an embryonic plant enclosed in a protective outer covering. The formation of the seed is part of the process of reproduction Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) ...
* Origin **
Neolithic founder crops The founder crops (or primary domesticates) are the eight plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, the plant kingdom encompassed all living things that were not animals, ...


References


Further reading

* {{Authority control