Classification According To Forms
Crops can be grouped according to the behaviour of the seed during germination. We already know that we can produce different crops from different seeds.
In structure of seed, the plumule, radicle and the cotyledon are contained in the seed. One way in which farmers group crops is according to the number of cotyledons that the seeds have.
A plant that has a seed with one cotyledon like maize is called a monocot. Other monocot crops are rice, wheat, millets, coconut, oil palm tree and guinea grass.
A plant that has a seed with two cotyledons like the bean seed is called a dicot. Other dicot crops are cowpea, pride of Barbados, castor oil and water leaf.
Classification According To Life Span
The second way of grouping crops is according to their life span or the duration for which the crops are grown on the farm. There are three groups:
a. Annuals: These are plants grown from seeds to mature plants in a single growing season or year. Annual crops include: maize, guinea corn, millet, beans, groundnut and soybeans.
b. Biennials: These are plants grown from seeds to mature plants in two sea sons or years. Biennial crops include cassava, carrot, onion and cabbage.
c. Perennials: These are plants that continue growing from three to five years or more. Examples of perennials crops include cotton, cocoa, oil palm, rubber, banana, mango and pawpaw.
Classification According To Uses And Types
The third way of grouping crops is according to their types and uses.
1. Food Crops: Legumes (Beans, Soybeans), cereals (Maize, Sorghum), vegetables(Tomato, Spinach), root and tubers (Cassava,Yam), fruits and nuts(Orange, Banana), spices(Ginger). Uses: Eaten by man.
2. Forage Crops: Grasses (Guinea Grass), Legumes(Stylosanthes, Centrosema). Uses: Eaten by animals.
3. Ornamental Crops (Flowers): Hibiscus flower, Rose flower, Ice plant. Uses: Beautify environment.
4. Cash Crops: Rubber, Cocoa, Cotton, Kola. Uses: Exported for income.
5. Drug Plants: Lemon grass, Neem (Dogoyaro) etc. Uses: Use as drugs.