ETYM Old Eng. crop, croppe, craw, top of a plant, harvest, AS. crop, cropp, craw, top, bunch, ear of corn.
(agriculture) Any plant product grown or harvested for human use. Over 80 crops are grown worldwide, providing people with the majority of their food and supplying fibers, rubber, pharmaceuticals, dyes, and other materials. Crops grown for export are cash crops. A catch crop is one grown in the interval between two main crops.
There are four main groups of crops. Food crops provide the bulk of people’s food worldwide. The main types are cereals, roots, pulses (peas, beans), vegetables, fruits, oil crops, tree nuts, sugar, and spices. Cereals make the largest contribution to human nutrition. Forage crops are those such as grass and clover which are grown to feed livestock. Forage crops cover a greater area of the world than food crops. Grasses, which dominate this group, form the world’s most abundant crop, consisting mostly of wild species grown in an unimproved state. Fiber crops produce vegetable fibers. Temperate areas produce flax and hemp, but the most valuable fiber crops are cotton, jute, and sisal, which are grown mostly in the tropics. Cotton dominates fiber-crop production. Miscellaneous crops include tobacco, rubber, ornamental flowers, and plants that produce perfumes, pharmaceuticals, and dyes.
1. The stock or handle of a whip.
2. The yield from plants in a single growing season; SYN. harvest.