A crop is any plant, macroscopic fungus, or alga cultivated in agriculture or aquaculture (algaculture). Most crops are harvested as food for humans or livestock (fodder crops). Important non-food crops (industrial crops) are produced for clothing (fiber crops), biofuel (energy crops, algae fuel), or medicine (medicinal plants). The word crop may refer either to all harvested parts of a plant or to the harvest in a more refined state (husked, shelled, etc.).
Animals and microbes (fungi, bacteria or viruses) are only rarely referred to as crops. Animals raised for human or animal consumption are referred to as livestock and microbes as microbiological cultures. Microbes are not typically grown for food itself, but are rather used to alter food (e.g., generating citric acid, fermenting yogurt, soy sauce, or sauerkraut).
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 (541 kcal), wheat (527 kcal), sugarcane and other sugar crops (200 kcal), maize (corn) (147 kcal), soybean oil (82 kcal), other vegetables (74 kcal), potatoes (64 kcal), palm oil (52 kcal), cassava (37 kcal), pulses (37 kcal), sunflowerseed oil (35 kcal), rape and mustard oil (34 kcal), other fruits, (31 kcal), sorghum (28 kcal), millet (27 kcal), groundnuts (25 kcal), beans (23 kcal), sweet potatoes (22 kcal), bananas (21 kcal), various nuts (16 kcal), soyabeans (14 kcal), cottonseed oil (13 kcal), groundnut oil (13 kcal), nyams (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):
|Sugarcane||1 256 380||1 877 110|
|Maize||592 479||1 016 740|
|Rice (paddy)||599 355||745 710|
|Wheat||585 691||713 183|
|Potatoes||327 600||368 096|
- General topics and economics
- Industrial crops (= non-food crops)
- Management practices
- Catch crop (fast-growing crop grown between plantings of main crops)
- Cover crop (crop planted primarily to manage soil erosion, soil fertility, water, weeds, pests, diseases, and biodiversity)
- Crop destruction
- Crop residue
- Crop rotation
- Crop weed
- Kharif crops (crops cultivated and harvested in South Asia during the rainy season)
- Multiple cropping
- Nurse crop
- Rabi crops (crops sown in winter and harvested in the spring in the South Asia)
- Origin and genetic diversity
- Sleper, David A.; Poehlman, John M. (2006). Breeding Field Crops. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 9780813824284. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
Media related to Crops at Wikimedia Commons
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