Classification of Field Crops

March 11, 2021
Classification of field crops

Crop is an organism grown and / or harvested for obtaining yield. Agronomically, crop is a plant cultivated for economic purpose. The classification of field crops is done to generalize similar crop plants as a class for better understanding of them

Classification of field crops

The field crops are classified based on:

  • Life cycle (Ontogeny)
  • Seasons
  • Climate
  • Economic use (Agronomic)
  • Botany

Classification of field crops based on Life cycle (Ontogeny)

Based on life cycle, the crops are categories into:

  • Annual crops: Crop plants that complete life cycle within a season or year. They produce seed and die within the season. Ex. Wheat, rice, maize, mustard etc.
  • Biennial crops: Plants that have life span of two consecutive seasons or years. Ex. Sugar beet, beet root, etc.
  • Perennial crops: Plants that have life span of three or more years. They may be seed bearing or non-seed bearing. Ex. Napier fodder grass, coconut, etc

Classification of field crops based on Season

Based on season, the crops are categories into:

  • Kharif crops: Crops grown during June-July to September–October which require a warm wet weather during their major period of growth and shorter day length for flowering. Ex. Rice, maize, castor, groundnut.
  • Rabi crops: Crops grown during October–November to January-February, which require cold dry weather for their major growth period and longer day length for flowering. Ex. Wheat, mustard, barley, oats, potato, bengal gram, berseem, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Summer crops: Crops grown during February–March to May–June which require warm dry weather for growth and longer day length for flowering. Ex.Black gram, greengram, seasome, cowpea etc.

Classification of field crops based on Climate

Based on climatic condition, the crops are categories into:

  • Tropical crop : Coconut, sugarcane
  • Sub-tropical crop : Rice, cotton
  • Temperate crop : Wheat, barley
  • Polar crop : All pines, pasture grasses

Classification of field crops based on Economic use

  • Cereals crops: Cereals crops are cultivated grasses grown for their edible starch grains suc as Rice, wheat, maize, barley, oats etc. Cereal grain contains 60 to 70% of starch and is excellent energy rich foods for humans
  • Millets crops: Millet crops are the small grained cereals. These are also staple food for people of poor countries. In India, pearl millet is a staple food in Rajasthan. for example: Sorghum /Jowar/Cholam, Pearl millet, Finger Millet, Foxtail millet, Little Millet etc.
  • Pulse crops: Pulse crops are leguminous crops whose seeds are used as ‘dal’on splitting and are rich in protein. Pulses are preferred for protein rich value & also economic important in cropping system
  • Oil Seeds: Those crops which are rich in fatty acid are cultivated for the production of vegetable oil. They are used either for edible or industrial or medicinal purposes
  • Sugar Crops: Crops which are grown for production of sugar and starch such as sugarcane, sugarbeet etc.
  • Fibre Crops: Crops which are grown for obtaining fibre. fibre. Different kinds of fibre are seed fibre – cotton; Stem/ bast fibre – Jute, mesta; leaf fibre – Agave, pineapple
  • Fodder: These are vegetative matter, fresh or preserved, utilized as feed for animals. It includes hay, silage, pasturage and fodder.
  • Spices and condiments: Crop plants or their products used for flavour, taste and add colour to the fresh or preserved food. Ex.– Ginger, garlic, fenugreek, cumin, turmeric, chillies, onion, coriander, anise and asafetida.
  • Medicinal Plants: Crops used for preparation of medicines. Ex. Tobacco, mint. etc
  • Beverages: Crops that are used for mild, agreeable and stimulating liquors meant for drinking such as tea, coffee etc

Classification of field crops based on Botany

Botanical classification is based upon similarity of plant parts and flower structure. it determines to what extent the plants are relatives.

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