Agricultural Science

Differences between a Plant and a Crop

len Alfred Ajibola - Sat, 16th March, 2019 @ 4:47 PM

Topics in Agricultural Science

Importance of forest: Forest reserves in Nigeria Wildlife reserves in Nigeria and its importance Prevention and Control of Crop Pests Economic Importance of Crop Pests Classification of Insect Pests and their Economic Importance Agricultural Machines and their Uses Soil Erosion: Causes of Soil Erosion Ways to prevent Soil Erosion Asexual Propagation in Plants, Types and Examples Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms Scheme of Work, Agricultural Science, SS1, First Term Scheme of Work, Agricultural Science, SS1, Second Term Scheme of Work, Agricultural Science, SS1, Third Term Len Academy Agric Science exam questions, JSS1, First Term Len Academy Agric Science exam questions, JSS1, First Term, part 2 Definitions and Meanings of Agricutural terms (P - Q) Agricultural Terms: Definition and Meanings of Agricultural Terms (P and Q), part 2 Len Academy questions for Agric Science JSS1, 2nd Term Len Academy questions for Agric Science JSS1, 2nd Term, Part 2 Roles of Government in Agriculture

Academic Questions in Agricultural Science

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Cordage is made from _____ crop.

  • A. Food

  • B. Fibre

  • C. Ornamental

  • D. Oil

  • E. Cash

  • F. Vegetables and Spice

_____ is defined as the solid and arable part of the earth where agricultural activities are be carried out.

  • A. Soil

  • B. Farmland

  • C. Agricultural land

  • D. Biosphere

  • E. Open land

  • F. Planting and grazing land

Gymnosperms and angiosperms are seed bearing plants under the division spermatophyta?

  • A. True

  • B. False

Which of the following is false concerning gymnosperms?

  • A. Cones are present

  • B. Sepals are present

  • C. Petals are absent

  • D. Only seeds are produced

  • E. Sporophyll form the cones

  • F. In seed formation, the ovules aren't present in the ovary

Which of the following statement is incorrect concerning seeds?

  • A. The ovary develops into the seed after fertilization

  • B. The embryo in the seed develops into a young plant

  • C. The seed's endosperm serve as a source of food reserve for the developing embryo

  • D. A seed has its own genotype

  • E. Seeds are products of sexual reproduction

  • F. Apomictic seeds aren't produced sexually and the hawkseed is an example

The _____ is the reproductive organ in plant's sexual reproduction.

  • A. Pollen grain

  • B. Ova

  • C. Sperm

  • D. Flower

  • E. Fruit

  • F. Seed

In flowering plants, fertilization occurs when the _____ comes into contact with the ova (as genetic materials are eventually exchanged).

  • A. Sperm

  • B. Endosperm

  • C. Exosperm

  • D. Stigma

  • E. Ovule

  • F. Pollen grain

The fusion of sperm and ova in animals leads to the formation of _____.

  • A. Foetus

  • B. Embryo

  • C. Ovary

  • D. Neonate

  • E. Zygote

  • F. Egg



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Plants VS Crops?

Agricultural science as a subject focuses a lot on plants and animals (not crops and animals). A plant and a crop are not exactly the same thing. Let me state categorically that 'All crops are plants but NOT all plants are crops'.

Often times, I hear students and teachers use both words interchangeable at classroom level. Ideally, we should be more specific with our use of both words in an academic environment. In this article, we will attempt to make them clearer.

For now, think of a crop as any plant used by humans for the purpose of food, money or something beneficial.

Please read on Crops attacked by Agricultural Pests and their Economic Importance here.


What are Plants?

All plants belong to one kingdom and that's kingdom plantae. Based on this knowledge, we can comfortably say that crops, weeds, tall trees, shrubs, epiphytes, climbers, creepers are all plants but not necessarily the same kind of plants. They are generally plants because they all belong to the same kingdom (plantae).

Please read on Sexual Propagation in Plants here.

Are all plants crops?

The answer is NO

Plants can be categorized into different types based on certain features or characteristics. Consider the instances below:

1. Parasitic Plants: The parasitic plants are not necessarily crops in the sense that some of them aren't used by humans for the purpose of food or money.

Parasitic plants are plants that derive some or all of their nutritional requirements from other plants.

Parasitic plants possesses a form of modified roots called haustoria which they use for penetration into their host plants.

Note: The term host (as used above) describes a plant that suffers from the actions of a parasitic plant.

Examples of parasitic plants are mistletoe, bird's-nest orchid, cactus mistletoe, striga, rhinanthus and the corpse flower.

The image below shows a parasitic plant (Corpse Flower) and it's not a crop:

Corpse Flower - Len Academy

Apart from depending on other plants for food, parasitic plants also carry out photosynthesis.

Please read on Autotrophic Nutririon and Photosynthesis here.


2. Carnivorous Plants: These plants are not necessarily crops.

Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients by consuming small animals, especially insects. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as insectivorous plants.

Examples of carnivorous plants are the venus flytrap, pitcher plant and sundew.

The image below shows a carnivorous plant (Venus Flytrap) and it's not a crop:

Venus flytrap - Len Academy

One reason why carnivorous plants feed on insects is because they often find themselves growing on soils with little nitrogen. Insects on their part are a rich source of nitrogen.

Please read on Sources, Functions and Defficiencies of Macronutrients here.

Note: Like every other plants, carnivorous plants also carry out photosynthesis.


3. Trees and Shrubs: Although some trees are classified as crops (tree crops), not all trees and shrubs are crops.

Please read on the vegetation of Tropical Rainforest and their Importance here.

Mango trees and Orange trees are crops because they are grown for their fruits; but the plum tree is not a crop, neither does it bear any fruit.

Please read on Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms here.


4: Weeds: Weeds are plants growing where they are neither wanted nor desired.

Often times, we don't consider weeds as crops because they are not needed or desired. As a matter of fact, a farmer will likely cut them down.

In addition to the above instances of plants, epiphytes, climbers and creepers also fall within the plant kingdom; but they are not necessarily crops.

  • An epiphyte is a non-parasitic plant that grows on another plant. It is believed to derive its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain water, or from debris accumulating around it.
    Epiphytes carry out photosynthesis: (that is; they can manufacture their own food). Examples are moss and orchids.
  • Climbers and Creepers are regarded as plants in need of support as they grow. They are always attached to some form of support while growing. Examples are pea plants and ivy plants.

You can understand from the above instances that the categorization of plants can be quite broad. We can go on and on; but the point is;



You can attempt LEN ACADEMY Agric Science Examination Questions for JSS1, First Term here.


What are Crops?

Any plant that is grown for the purpose of food, money or something beneficial is a crop.

Please read on the various Agricultural Terms, Definitions and Meanings here.

We will normally cultivate our crops and harvest them when the time is right.

Generally, crops serve a variety of uses for humans. They are classified as follows:

Classification of Crops

Below is the classification of crops based on their uses:

  1. Oil Crops: They are grown for the purpose of the oil which they produce when processed. Examples of oil crops are oil palm, coconut, groundnut and melon.

  2. Vegetable Crops: They are grown for the purpose of their leaves (or fruits). Examples are pumpkin, water leaf, bitter leaf and okra.

  3. Latex Crops: They are grown for the purpose of their sticky liquid (called latex) which are useful in plastic industries. Rubber crop is an example.

  4. Drug and Medicinal Crops: Moringa and Ginseng are examples of crops grown for their medicinal values.
    Please read on the benefits of the African Star Apple (called Agbalumo or Udara in Nigeria).

  5. Beverage Crops: These crops are grown for the purpose of making drinks. Examples are cocoa, coffee and tea crops.

  6. Fibre Crops: They are grown for the purpose of clothing. Cotton, hemp and flax crop are examples of fibre crops

  7. Fruit Crops: They are grown for the purpose of their edible fruits. Examples are orange, mango and cashew crops.

  8. Root and Tuber Crops: These crops are grown because they serve as major sources of carbohydrates. Examples are yam and potatoes.
    Please read on Carbohydrates and Sugars here.

  9. Legumes: Leguminous crops are very rich in protein. Examples are beans and groundnut.

  10. Spices: These crops are grown because they add flavor to food. Examples are onion, pepper and ginger.

  11. Cereals: They belong to the grass family and are rich sources of carbohydrates. Examples are rice, maize and millet.

Sometimes, we see plants growing within our environment without us directly planting them. If we find these plants to be useful, we can consider them as crops.

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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Amazing facts in Agricultural Science

Peanuts are legumes and not nuts

Although plants neither see nor hear, they can recognize their siblings and even give them preferential treatments

Squirrels do plant more trees (through their actions) than an average human in their lifetime. They often hide their acorns and nuts underground and forget about them

Cows have got the ability to walk up stairs, but not down stairs

A group of cows is called a team, drove or herd.

People just prefer to call them herd

NOTABLE POINTS IN Agricultural Science

Below are some common types of erosion:

  • Water Erosion: It is caused by rainfall and flooding on the topsoil. As a result of water erosion, some layers of the topsoil are lost.

  • Sheet Erosion: When an entire surface of land becomes eroded at a uniform (equal) level, such is referred to as sheet erosion. It is shown below:
    Sheet Erosion - Len Academy

  • Wind Erosion: It results from the actions of wind on a bare land. Wind erosion is often seen in deserts. Overgrazing and lack of vegetation cover will also enhance wind erosion on topsoil.

Please read more on types of soil erosion here.

Soil erosion is defined as a process through which the topsoil is removed or moved from one point to another by agents like wind, water, man and animals.

Soil erosion occurs naturally (wind and water) and may also be facilitated by living organisms.

Soil erosion is more likely to occur on a sloppy land and land with no vegetation cover. When this occurs, the nutrient rich layer of the topsoil is washed away; and this ultimately results in fewer plants growing on such eroded soil.

Please read more on soil erosion here

There are about 630 different kinds of carnivorous plants.

Carnivorous plants are plants that derive some or most of their nutrients by consuming small animals, especially insects.

Carnivorous plants are also referred to as insectivorous plants.

Examples of carnivorous plants include sundew and Venus flytrap.

Please read more on carnivorous plants here