The classification of crops is a way to categorize different plants based on various criteria such as their use, growth habits, life cycles, and botanical characteristics. Crop classification helps in organizing and studying plants systematically, understanding their requirements, and developing appropriate agricultural practices. Here are some common methods used for the classification of crops:
1. Based on Use:
a. Food Crops: These crops are primarily grown for human consumption, such as rice, wheat, corn, and vegetables.
b. Feed Crops: These crops are cultivated to provide animal feed, including crops like alfalfa, clover, and sorghum.
c. Fiber Crops: These crops are grown for their fibrous materials used in industries, like cotton, jute, and hemp.
d. Oil Crops: These crops are cultivated for oil extraction, such as soybeans, sunflowers, and canola.
e. Industrial Crops: These crops are grown for industrial purposes, like rubber, sugarcane, and tobacco.
2. Based on Growth Habit:
a. Annual Crops: These crops complete their life cycle within one growing season, from seed germination to seed production. Examples include corn, beans, and rice.
b. Biennial Crops: These crops have a life cycle that extends over two years. They typically grow vegetatively during the first year and produce flowers and seeds in the second year. Carrots and sugar beets are examples of biennial crops.
c. Perennial Crops: These crops have a longer life cycle and can produce harvestable yields for multiple years. Fruit trees (e.g., apple, citrus) and perennial grasses (e.g., alfalfa, switchgrass) are examples of perennial crops.
3. Based on Botanical Characteristics:
a. Monocotyledonous Crops: These crops belong to the class Monocotyledonae and have a single seed leaf or cotyledon. Examples include cereals like rice, wheat, and maize.
b. Dicotyledonous Crops: These crops belong to the class Dicotyledonae and have two seed leaves or cotyledons. Examples include legumes like beans and peanuts, as well as many fruit and vegetable crops.
4. Based on Climate Adaptation:
a. Tropical Crops: These crops are adapted to tropical regions with warm temperatures and high humidity, such as bananas, pineapples, and coffee.
b. Temperate Crops: These crops are adapted to moderate temperature regions with distinct seasons, such as wheat, barley, and apples.
c. Mediterranean Crops: These crops are suited to regions with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, such as olives, grapes, and figs.
Crop classification systems may vary depending on the purpose and context of the classification. Different organizations, agricultural institutions, and researchers may have their own classification schemes tailored to their specific needs.
Food and feed for ourselves and our livestock. Those crops include:
- CEREAL: Cereals or grain crops belong to the grass family. We grow them for their seed examples are maize, sorghum (guinea corn), millet, rice, wheat and acha.
- LEGUMES (PULSE): The seed of these crops are eaten and are a good source of plant proteins. Examples are soya bean, cowpea, groundnut and bambara.
- SUGAR CROPS: Sugar crops are grown to make sugar which we eat. The two major sugar crops are sugarcane and sugar beet.
- BEVERAGES AND STIMULANTS: Beverages stimulant are crops whose products are used for making non-alcoholic drinks or used to increase our body activities. Examples are cocoa, tea, coffee, kola nut and tobacco.
- ROOTS AND TUBERS: Root and tuber crops are crops that store food materials in underground parts of the plant. Examples are cassava, sweet potatoes, yams and cocoyams
- FRUIT: Many crops produce fruits. The fruits are eaten fresh or canned. Examples are mango, orange, banana, cashew, pawpaw, guava and pineapple.
- FORAGE CROPS: Farmers grow forage crops to be used mainly as feed for farm animals. Examples are elephant grass, gamba grass and alfalfa: Most food crops for examples cowpea are also grown as forage crops. In this case, the crops are harvested before they are mature to feed livestock’s. Such crops include, maize, sorghum, millet, groundnut, soya beans and cowpea.
- LATEX CROPS: These are crops which provide some white sticky sap (latex) from their stem or fruit. Examples are rubber and para rubber.
- FIBRE CROPS: These are crops which are usually threat like and from which fibre is obtained. It can be processed to make clothing materials. Examples; are cotton, sisa, jute, kenaf e.t.c. fibres may be obtained from fruits, stem and leaves of these crops.
- OIL CROPS: These are crops whose seeds or fruit can produce oil when processed. Examples include oil palm, coconut, soya beans, groundnut, cotton and sun flower.