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crop, in agriculture, a plant or plant product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. By use, crops fall into six categories: food crops, for human consumption (e.g., wheat, potatoes); feed crops, for livestock consumption (e.g., oats, alfalfa); fibre crops, for cordage and textiles (e.g., cotton, hemp); oil crops, for consumption or industrial uses (e.g., cottonseed, corn); ornamental crops, for landscape gardening (e.g., dogwood, azalea); and industrial and secondary crops, for various personal and industrial uses (e.g., rubber, tobacco).
Principle feed crops include corn, barley, wheat, and oats. Each of these crops has different properties that are better suited for some animals’ diets over others. Barley, which is harder to digest, is most often fed to beef and dairy cattle because they have a tough, four-chambered stomach. Hull-less barley, which is easier to digest, is fed to swine and poultry.Oil crops, such as canola and corn, are harvested for consumption or industrial uses. Technologies developed in the past century have enabled crops to be processed and broken down into their primary components, including oil. Soybeans, for example, represented 61 percent of world oilseed production and 79 percent of all edible oil consumed in the United States in 2000.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 e.g. cotton), biofuel (energy crops, algae fuel), or medicine (medicinal plants). 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), sunflower seed 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), soybeans (14 kcal), cottonseed oil (13 kcal), groundnut oil (13 kcal), yams (13 kcal). (Source: en.wikipedia.org)