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Domesticated plants

A crop is "a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence."[1] Crop may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state (husked, shelled, etc.). Most crops are cultivated in agriculture or aquaculture. A crop is usually expanded to include macroscopic fungus (e.g. mushrooms), or alga (algaculture).

Most crops are harvested as food for humans or livestock (fodder crops). Some crops are gathered from the wild (including intensive gathering, e.g. ginseng).

Important non-food crops include horticulture, floriculture and industrial crops. Horticulture crops include plants used for other crops (e.g. fruit trees). Floriculture crops include bedding plants, houseplants, flowering garden and pot plants, cut cultivated greens, and cut flowers. Industrial crops are produced for clothing (fiber crops), biofuel (energy crops, algae fuel), or medicine (medicinal plants).

Animals and microbes (fungi, bacteria or viruses) are 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., producing citric acid, fermenting yogurt, soy sauce, or sauerkraut).

Contents

Important food cropsEdit

 
Crops drying in a home in Punjab, India.

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), legume 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), yams (13 kcal).[2] 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.[2]

In terms of produced weight, the following crops are the most important ones (global production in thousand metric tonnes):[3]

Crop 2000 2013
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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Definition of CROP". www.merriam-webster.com. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Statistics Division (2017). "FAOstats Food Supply - Crops Primary Equivalent". 
  3. ^ FAO 2015. FAO Statistical Pocketbook 2015, ISBN 978-92-5-108802-9, p. 28

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

  Media related to Crops at Wikimedia Commons