Agricultural Science

Types of agricultural practices

len Alfred Ajibola - 19th January, 2023 @ 02:19 PM

Topics in Agricultural Science

Clay soil explained with its types and characteristics Loamy soil explained with its characteristics Sandy soil: Characteristics of sandy soil and ways to make it fertile Soil explained with its composition Types of agricultural practices Crop rotation explained Benefits of crop rotation Differences between subsistence and commercial farming Subsistence farming explained with its characteristics What is commercial farming? Types of commercial farming Characteristics of commercial farming 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 Causes of soil erosion Ways to prevent soil erosion Asexual Propagation in Plants, Types and Examples

Academic Questions in Agricultural Science

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

The ideal pH for the optimum growth of most agricultural crop is between _____.

  • A. 1 – 3.5

  • B. 4 – 5.5

  • C. 6 – 7.5

  • D. 8 – 9.5

  • E. 10 – 11.5

  • F. 12 – 13.5

People who go about their lives by raising and herding livestock such as cattle, sheep and goats are said to practice _____.

  • A. Pastoralism

  • B. Pasturalism

  • C. Herding

  • D. Herdsmen

  • E. Animalism

  • F. Anime Farming

The act of giving birth in pigs is called _____.

  • A. Calving

  • B. Piggery

  • C. Kidding

  • D. Farrowing

  • E. Calfing

  • F. Pigging

Which of the following is not a vegetable?

  • A. Cashew

  • B. Cocumber

  • C. Tomatoes

  • D. Carrot

  • E. Squash

  • F. Eggplant

All plants are crops.

  • A. True

  • B. False

In agriculture, macronutrients are essential nutrients required by plants. Which of the following is not a macronutrient?

  • A. Zinc

  • B. Sulphur

  • C. Calcium

  • D. Phosphorus

  • E. Potassium

  • F. Magnesium

Which of the following is false concerning micronutrients?

  • A. They are non-essential nutrients

  • B. They are required by plants in minute quantities

  • C. Iron is a micronutrient

  • D. Chlorine is a micronutrient

  • E. Copper is a micronutrient

  • F. Boron is a micronutrient

_____ is a term that describes the biological, chemical and cultural control tactics employed to make pest management economical, environmentally friendly and socially acceptable.

  • A. Integrated Pest Management

  • B. Integral Pest Management

  • C. International Pest Management

  • D. Inclusive Pest Management

  • E. Imbibed Pest Management

  • F. Inclusion Pest Management

Forms of Agricultural Practices:

Agricultural practices refers to the various methods or principles applied on agricultural land in order to produce better agricultural yields. Such agricultural land may be used to grow plants, rear animals or utilized for both purposes. Simply put, agricultural practices are utilized in agricuture to improve farming. 

Please read on agricultural terms and their meanings here.


Farmers implement various agricultural practices in order to provide quality plant and animal products like food and raw materials, while also protecting the soil, atmosphere and water bodies in the process. Also, foreign exchange can be generated through the sale of these agricultural products. Meanwhile, recall that agriculture also plays a major role towards purifying and beautifying our environment.

You can read on functions of the atmosphere here.


Below are explanations on types of agricultural practices. There agricultural practices may be based on one's locality. They include the followings:


  • Mixed Cropping

Mixed cropping refers to the planting of two or more different crops simultaneously on the same piece of land in no specific patterm. These crops may have a similar life cycle, and will typically have one of the crops planted during their favorable growing season. Also the same agrochemicals may be applied to the soil and crops if the need arises.

Please read on the differences between plants and crops here.

Intercropping is a form of mixed cropping. In this case, two or more crops are planted in a specific patterm on the same agricultural land.

Though inter-cropping farming practice, spaces on farmland are utilized.

Mixed cropping may also be referred to as co-cultivation or polyculture.


  • Monocropping

It refers to an agricultural practice of growing only one type of crop continuously on the same piece of land for two or more planting seasons. For this reason, monocropping is also referred to as continuous cropping. Common crops planted in continuous cropping are wheat, maize and soyabean. Oftentimes, these crops are planted for commercial purposes.

Please read on commercial farming here.

Monocropping has proven to be a successful farming practice since the same viable seeds, agricultural machineries and agrochemicals are utilized. However, it can become disastrous in the long run as the crops (and entire farmland) may become ravaged by pest and diseases. Also, the soil nutrients becomes depleted over time; and the constant use of agrochemicals (for example, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides) can prove harmful to the ecosystem. Eventually the soil structure is destroyed and erosion may devastate the farmland.

Please read more on soil erosion here.

Monocropping is quite different from monoculture.


  • Monoculture

Monoculture refers to the planting of the same crop on a farmland for only one season. This is quite different from monocropping where the farmer plants the same crop for multiple seasons.

An instance of monoculture is seen when a farmer plants only maize on a farmland for only one season. However, the farmer may choose to plant yams on the same farmland by the next planting season. In the third planting season, the farmer may decide to plant only groundnuts after harvesting the yams. This is the concept of monoculture. Therefore, crop rotation can occur during monoculture.

If the farmer plants maize continuously for three planting seasons; then, it is termed continuous monoculture, and this is equivalent to monocropping.

You can read on interesting facts for students here.

The key point to note concerning monoculture is the fact that only one type of crops is planted in a single year or one planting season.


  • Crop Rotation

This is an agricultural practice whereby different crops are grown in a sequential manner on the same agricultural land.

Crop rotation increases the beneficial soil microorganisms, improves soil fertility, reduces soil erosion and discourages the growth of pests, weeds and other harmful organisms.

In crop rotation, crops belonging to different families are planted in an ordered manner on the same farmland for a period of two years or more. For instance, a farmer may grow maize in one planting season, yam in another planting season and groundnut in the next.

Please read a detailed explanation on crop rotation here.


  • Mixed Farming

Mixed farming refers to the growing of crops and rearing of livestock on the same agricultural land. Therefore, a farmer who plants maize and rears sheep on an agricultural land is considered to practice mixed farming.

In mixed farming, a farmer may also grow different crop species alongside different animal species on the same land. For example, the farmer may grow tomatoes, maize, plantain and sugarcane while also rearing animals like sheep, poultry and snails on the same agricultural land.

Please read on agricultural land and its uses here.


  • Shifting Cultivation

This is a system of agriculture whereby a farmer cultivate crops on a farmland until the soil's nutrients show signs of depletion, or the crops become heavily infested with pest and diseases, eventually leading to lower crop yields; and as a result, the farmer abandons the farmland to a new one.

Shifting cultivation may also be referred to as slash-and-burn cultivation. This is so because the vegetation covering the new land is cut and the debris burnt, before the farmer plants his or her intended crops. This slash-and-burn cultivation (shifting cultivation) may also be termed as swidden agriculture.

In shifting cultivation, the farmer has no intention to return to the abandoned farmland even though it regains the lost nutrients during the period of abandonment. This differentiates shifting cultivation from bush fallowing.

You can read the importance of forest here.

Shifting cultivation is practiced in tropical areas with an abundance of land, although with a lack of technologically advanced farming system.


  • Bush Fallowing

Bush fallowing is considered a type of shifting cultivation. In this instance, the farmer cultivates the land for two or more years, leaves the land to another farmland with the intention of coming back to the former farmland after some years have passed. The land which the farmer leaves behind regains its lost nutrients through this process.

Bush fallowing ensures that the farmer rotates his cultivation on different lands. For this reason, bush fallowing is also referred to as land rotation.

You can attempt agric science questions for JSS1 here.

Bush fallowing or land rotation can only be practiced in areas with large land mass occupied by few population of people. However, this farming practice is fading away because land has become a major asset. In this regard, land is constantly developed into infrastructures like roads, tourist centers, estates, schools, churches, hospitals, stadiums, markets and so on.


  • Pastoral Farming

Pastoral farming is an ancient agricultural practice involving the rearing of livestock. Livestock in this instance refers to animals like cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.

In pastoral farming, livestock may be kept in an enclosed area with vegetation on it. This type of pastoral farming is termed ranching. Here, the animals are allowed to move freely and graze within the enclosed land or ranch. In some cases, the ranch may be divided into sections, as this may be used to achieve an organized grazing. An example of a ranch is the Obudu cattle ranch in Cross River state, Nigeria.

In another type of pastoral farming, the shepherd wanders with their livestock in search of grazing land. This is termed as normadic herding, and the movement of these shepherds occur in a random pattern. In Nigeria, heardsmen from the Fulani region practice nomadic farming.

Please read on the resources from animals here.

An organized form of normadic farming is the transhumance. In this instance, the movement of the shepherds and their livestock is ordered, and will often occur between the mountain pastures in warm seasons and lower altitudes for the rest of the year. The seasonal pastures are fixed in this regard.


  • Ley Farming

This is an agricultural practice of growing grasses and legumes for the purpose of pastures such as silage and hay; and is done in rotation with the planting of tilled crops in order to conserve soil nutrients.

The aim of ley farming is to generate fodder for livestock through the planting of grass and legumes, while maintaining soil fertility and obtaining higher yields of other crops, for instance, grain crops.

You can read on the problems of agriculture in here.


  • Fish Farming

Fish farming an agricultural practice and a form of aquaculture in which fishes are raised in enclosures such as fish tank and fish ponds for commercial purposes. Fish farming can also be practiced in a portion of natural water bodies cordoned by nets or cages.

Fish farming is also referred to as pisciculture. Fishes reared for this purpose include tilapia, catfish, trout, tuna, carp and salmon respectively.

Meanwhile, understand that fish farming is the major form of aquaculture.

Please read on how to start a home based fish farming here.


  • Horticulture

Horticulture is an agricultural practice that utilizes science, art and technology to produce flowers, ornamental plants, herbs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, mushrooms and grasses which can be used for food, medicines and beautification purposes.

The beautification of our environments through the use of plants are a function of horticulture. This agricultural practice therefore presents a colourful environment and promotes recreational activities.

You can read on sexual propagation in plants here.


  • Arable Farming

Arable farming may also be termed as tillage farming or plow-based farming. The land utilized for planting arable crops must be suitable for tilling and plowing in order to create seedbeds for the seedlings.

Arable farming is done for commercial purposes. Therefore, agricultural machines are always utilized in this farming system. Crops like wheat, barley, soybeans, potatoes and corn are planted on an arable land.

Arable land is defined as any land that can be easily ploughed, tilled, and is thus suitable for crop cultivation or farming.

Agricultural machines are often used on arable land.

Please read on agricultural machines and their uses here.


  • Poultry

Poultry farming is an agricultural practice that focuses on the domestication of birds, especially chickens, for commercial purposes through their meat and eggs. Other birds reared in poultry include turkeys, ducks and geese.

Please read the characteristics of commercial farming here.

With regards to chickens, those raised for meats are termed broilers while those reared for their eggs and referred to as layers.


Other forms (or types) of agricultural practices include:

  • Agroforestry

  • Agroecology

  • Apiculture (beekeeping)

  • Heliciculture (snail farming)

  • Dairy farming

  • Plantation farming

  • Grain farming

  • Organic farming

  • Subsistence farming
    Please read on subsistence farming here.

  • Commercial farming

  • Dryland farming

  • Extensive farming

  • Sowing

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Amazing facts in Agricultural Science

Cows technically have one stomach, not four. However, a cow's stomach has four compartments. These are: rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum

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 characteristics of gymnosperms:

  1. Their seeds have cones that protect them.

  2. Sepals and petals aren't present in their cones.

  3. Stigma and style are absent.

  4. They do not produce fruits. Only seeds are formed.

  5. Companion cells are absent.

  6. Sporophyll form the cones.

  7. Anther and filament are absent.

  8. The ovules are not present in the ovary.

  9. Gymnosperms do not possess flowers.

  10. Please read on the anatomical differences between gymnosperms and angiosperms here

The flower is the reproductive organ in plants' sexual reproduction. In order to achieve a successful sexual propagation or reproduction in plants, the floral parts of the flower are utilized.

The floral parts of a flower consists of the followings:

  1. Sepals

  2. Petals

  3. Stamen

  4. Carpel

The stamen is male portion of a plant. It consists of the anther and filament.

The carpel (or pistil) is the female portion of the plant. It consists of the stigma, style and ovary.

Please read more on plants' sexual reproduction here

An organism will be considered a pest if it does one of the followings:

  • Attack crops and eat its seeds, roots, stem, leaves and flowers. Examples are locust and grasshoppers.

  • Cause damage to stored food, fruits or other agricultural produce. Some may even urinate or deaficate on these products. Examples are rodents, cockroaches and mice.

  • Attack and kill farm animals like goats, sheep and cattle. Examples are foxes, wild cats and snakes.

  • Act as disease vectors. A vector is an organism that carries parasite and other disease causing organisms, without being affected; but when they introduce the parasites into their host, such host becomes infected with disease. Examples of vectors are rodents and mosquitoes.

    Please read more on vectors of diseases here.

Below are the classification of crops based on their uses:

  • Oil crops

  • Vegetable crops

  • Latex crops

  • Drug and Medicinal crops

  • Beverage crops

  • Fibre crops

  • Fruit crops

  • Root and Tubers

  • Legumes

  • Spices

  • Cereals

All crops are plants but not all plants are crops. Below are some instances:

  • Weeds are considered as plants, not crops.

  • Parasitic plants are not necessarily crops. Examples of parasitic plants include mistletoe, corpse flower and striga.

  • Carnivorous or insectivorous plants are not necessarily crops. Examples are sundew, venus flytrap and pitcher plant. The image below shows a carnivorous plant (venus flytrap).

Venus flytrap - Len Academy


Meanwhile, always understand that all crops are plants, and they are grown for food, money or something beneficial.

Please read on plants versus crops here