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The similar types of plants grown and cared in the field for food or other useful products and harvested, annually or seasonally, are known as crop plants.

Crops can be classified into farm crops, commercial crops and horticultural crops.

Farm crops:
 The food-producing crops are called farm crops. They can be classified into four major groups. These are cereals, pulses, vegetables and fodder crops. Paddy, wheat, ragi, barley and maize are the main cereals grown in our country.

Commercial crops:
 These crops are grown for monetary benefit, e.g. coffee, tea, sugarcane, cotton, cashewnut and arecanut.

Horticultural crops:
 Horticulture is a branch of agriculture in which vegetables, fruits and decorative plants are grown. Some of the horticultural crops are as follows:

  1. Vegetable such as cabbage, cauliflower, spinach etc.
  2. Fruits such as mango, grapes, apple, banana etc.
  3. Decorative plants such as crotons, ferns, bougainvillea etc.
  4. Decorative flowers such as rose, gladiolus, sunflower etc.

Seasonal Crops


Normally farmers grow two types of crops in a year. They are Kharif crops and Rabi crops.

  • Kharif crops: They are raised in rainy season (July to October). Examples include paddy, jowar, pulses and pepper. Rice is the most important Kharif crop in India which occupies the largest area. Rice requires a temperature of 16–20°C during the rainy season and 18–32°C during ripening. It needs a rainfall of 150–200 cm and needs flooded field during the growing period.
  • Rabi crops (wheat crop): Wheat is important next to rice. It is grown in alluvial soils of northern plain. Wheat is sown in the month of October or early November. Winter rains are very important to wheat crop.

Life-span Crop Plants


Flowering plants complete their life history (seed, seedling, adult plant and fruit) in the following three different ways:

 They are plants that complete their life cycle in one year or season, e.g. wheat, rice gram, beans, pea, sunflower etc.

 They are plants that live for two years or seasons, e.g. beet root, radish, turnip etc.

 These are plants that live for more than two years. They bear flowers and seeds every year, e.g. rose, pine, mango, teak, guava etc.

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