Examples Of Crops
Field crops include grain and tuber crops. Examples of grain crops are rice, maize beans, guinea corn and groundnut. Examples of tuber crops are cocoyam, potatoes, yam, carrot and cassava. Examples of horticultural crops are tomato, onion, spinach, water leaf, okra, carrot, pumpkin, and bitter leaf, While examples of Plantation crops are cocoa, rubber, oil palm, coffee, mango, guava, banana, orange, peer etc
Procedures For Raising Farm Crops
In growing field crops, there are some procedures to follow. The steps are described below:
1. Land Clearing And Stumping (Removal Of Roots Of Trees):
The land has to be cleared of bush. Bush clearing can be done by human labour or by a tractor. After clearing the bush, the rubbish and dead leaves, stems and roots are either removed or allowed to decay on the soil. It is not a good practice to burn the remains of plants or the bush.
2. Ridging And Making Of Mounds (Heaps):
This is heaping the topsoil into rows. Sometimes, crops are planted directly into the soil without ridge. But for a better yield, it is necessary to ridge the land.
Ridging Of Land Is Done Because;
a. It brings nutrients closer to the roots of the plants.
b. It gives room for the crops to be properly spaced out.
c. It allows for easy manuring.
d. It makes weeding easy.
Ridges can be made either by direct human efforts or by the use of a tractor. In the case of yam, mounds or heaps or holes are made for its planting.
As stated earlier, field crops are better planted on ridges or beds or mounds. A space of 30cm is kept between ridges or beds, while a space of 50cm is normally created between one crop and the other.
Crops Are Spaced Because Of The Following Reasons:
a. To make weeding easy.
b. To make manuring easy.
c. To enable all the plants have access to sunlight.
There are various ways of planting field crops. It could be done through sowing of seeds, stem cuttings, suckers and seed tubers.
i. Sowing Of Seeds
Most grain crops are grown by sowing their seeds in ridges or beds or flat land. Maize, beans and groundnut can be raised through seeds. When grain seeds are sowed, they pass through some stages before they are ready for harvest.
ii. Stem Cutting
Some field crops can be raised by planting their stems. Such cut stems are planted in already made ridges or in the soil directly. When the stems grow, they develop roots that form the crops. An example of this crop is cassava.
Some field crops can also be raised through the planting of their seed-tubers. The seed-tubers could be planted in already made heaps or holes. After a period of time, the seed-tubers will grow into full tubers that form the crops. Some examples of seed-tuber crops are yam and cocoyam.
Another way of raising field crops is through the planting of suckers. The suckers could be planted in heaps or holes. After being planted, the suckers will shoot out a new part to form a new crop. Plantain and cocoyam are examples of crops that could be raised through suckers.
4. Regular Weeding:
After Planting And The Crops are growing, the farm should be weed regularly. Regular weeding will prevent weeds from disturbing the normal growth of crops. Weeding can be done by uprooting all unwanted plants with hands. Furthermore, you can weed with matchet and hoes. Also, weeds can be killed by spraying them with chemicals.
5. Fertilizing The Soil:
Crops grow better when the soil is fertilized. You add manure and fertilizer to the soil so as to increase it’s nutrients or minerals. Manure and fertilizer are plant foods.
Fertilizer can be applied at different stages of plant growth. You could spread it on the farm before the crops germinate. Fertilizer could also be applied by putting it in shallow holes around the crops or by spreading it on the soil surface (broadcasting). Where fertilizers are not available, you can apply animal and plant wastes.
6. Harvesting Of Field Crops
Crops are usually harvested when they are matured. At this stage, the crops are ready for consumption, storage and perhaps planting again.
Field Crops Can Be Harvested In The Following Ways:
i. By tearing or splitting the cobs of the plant, e.g. Maize.
ii. By tearing and splitting the pods, e.g. Cowpea and Beans.
iii. By uprooting the tubers from the ground e.g. Cocoyam, Yam And Cassava.
iv. By Putting plants at the stem. e.g. plantain and banana.
Then The following comes in after Harvesting: