There are different methods of classification of crops which include Classification based on life span of crops/duration of crops, Classification based on climate, Based on Use/Agronomic classification, Classification based on cultural method/water, Classification based on root system, Classification based on economic importance and Classification based on Number of cotyledons as discussed in details below.
1. Classification based on life span of crops/duration of crops:
1. One seasonal crops: these are the kind of crops that completes its life cycle in one season. E.g. rice, wheat etc.
2. Two seasonal crops: these are those kind crops that complete its life in two seasons. E.g. Cotton, turmeric, gingers
3. Annual crops: these are crops that require one full year to complete its life cycle. They complete their life cycle once in a year or a growing season; and during this period, the vegetative and reproductive stages are completed e.g. maize, rice, cowpea, millet, vegetables, cotton, groundnut, sugarcane, etc.
4. Biennial crops: these are crops which grow in one year and flowers, fructify & perish the next year. They complete their life cycle once in two years or two group seasons. In the first year, they undergo the vegetative stages where leaves and roots are produced in abundance, the plant also elongates.
But during the second year, the plants undergo reproductive stages where flowers, fruits and seeds are produced e.g. carrot, lettuce, cabbage, ginger, cassava, Papaya.etc.
5. Perennial crops: These are those crops that complete their life cycle once in three years. In the first two cycles once in three years, they will undergo vegetative stages while in the last years, the reproductive stages are completed e.g. rhizome, sugarcane, banana, plantain.
A perennial plant that can survive for thirty years and above is called permanent crop e.g. cocoa, kola, mango, oil palm, rubber, coconut, etc. these type of crops live for several years.
6. Ephemerals: They are those types of crops that complete their life cycle once in three or four months and can undergo two or three life cycles in a year e.g. tomato.
2. Classification based on climate:
1. Tropical: these are those types of crops that grow well in warm & hot climatic conditions for example: Rice, sugarcane, etc.
2. Temperate: these are those types of crops that grow well in cool climatic conditions for example: Wheat, Oats, Gram, Potato etc.
3 Based on Use/Agronomic classification:
1. Grain crops: these may include cereals like millets cereals which are those cultivated grasses grown for their edible starchy grains. Cereals are the larger grains used as staple food. For example: rice, wheat, maize, barley, and millets are the small grained cereals which are of minor importance as food.
2. Pulse/legume crops: these are the seeds of leguminous crops plant used as food. They are rich in protein. For example: soybean, pea, cowpea etc.
3. Oil seeds crops: these are those crop seeds that are rich in fatty acids which are also used to extract vegetable oil to meet various requirements. For example: Groundnut, Mustard, Sunflower, linseed etc.
4. Forage Crop: This refers to as preserved fresh vegetables to be utilized as food for animals. Crops are being cultivated and are used for hay, silage etc.
5. Fiber crops: these are those crops which are known for their fiber yield. Fibers may be obtained from seed. For example: Cotton, steam, jute, Mesta, sun hemp, flax.
6. Roots crops: these are those crops that develop its edible part through the root part. For example: sweet potato, sugar beet, carrot, turnip etc.
7. Tuber crop: these are those crops that develop its edible portion through its tubers. For example: Potato, yam. etc.
8. Sugar crops: these are those crops that are mainly cultivated for sugar. For example: sugarcane and sugar beet.
9. Starch crops: these are those types of crops which are mainly grown for the production of starch. For example: tapioca, sweet potato.
10. Dreg crop: these are those crops which are grown mainly for the preparation of medicines. For example: tobacco, mint, and pyrethrum.
11. Spices & condiments/spices crops: these are those crop plants that their products are used to flavor taste and sometimes color the fresh preserved food. For example: ginger, garlic, chili, cumin onion, coriander, cardamom, pepper, turmeric etc.
12. Vegetables crops: these are those crops which may be leafy as fruity vegetables. For example: tomato.
13. Green manure crop: these are those crops which are grown and incorporated into soil to increase fertility of soil. For example: sun hemp.
14. Medicinal & aromatic crops: these are those cops which are grown mainly for their medicinal uses. Medicinal plants includes: cinchona, opium poppy, belladonna, and aromatic plants such as lemon grass, citronella grass, Japanese mint, peppermint, jasmine, henna etc.
4. Classification based on cultural method/water:
1. Rain fed: these are those types of crops that grow only on rain water. For example: Jowar, Bajara, Mung etc.
2. Irrigated crops: these are those crops which are grown with the help of irrigation water. For example: Chili, sugarcane, Banana, papaya etc.
5. Classification based on root system:
1. Tap root system: these are those types of crops that the main root goes deep into the soil. For example: Grape, Cotton etc.
2. Adventitious/Fiber rooted: These are those crops whose roots are fibrous shallow & spreading into the soil. For example: Cereal crops, wheat, rice etc.
6. Classification based on economic importance:
1. Cash crop: these are those types of crops which are basically grown for earning money. For example: Sugarcane, cotton.
2. Food crops: these are those crops which are basically grown for raising food grain for the population and fodder for cattle. For example: Jowar, wheat, rice etc.
7. Classification based on Number of cotyledons:
1. Monocots or monocotyledons: these are those types of crops that have one cotyledon in the seed. For example: all cereals & Millets.
2. Dicots or dicotyledonous: these are those types of crops that have two cotyledons in the seed. For example: all legumes & pulses.
Read Also: The Sowing Guide for Different Kind of Crops