A crop is a plant or animal product that can be grown and harvested extensively for profit or subsistence. Crop may refer either to the harvested parts or to the harvest in a more refined state. Most crops are cultivated in agriculture or aquaculture. A crop is usually expanded to include macroscopic fungus (e.g. mushrooms), or alga (algaculture).
Crop production is a branch of agriculture that deals with growing crops for use as food and fiber.
Crop production includes grains, cotton, tobacco, fruits, vegetables, nuts and plants. Different crops grow best in different areas of the country. Warmer climates are ideal for growing citrus crops; northern states are best for growing apples and blueberries and the Midwest is ideal for growing grains, including wheat. Crop producers usually work from sunrise to sunset during planting and harvesting seasons. They sell the crops they've produced, plan crops for the next season and repair machinery.
Scope of Crop Production
Crop Production encompasses these following activities:
CHOICE OF CROPS AND VARIETIES.
Species and varieties cultivated must be, as far as possible, adapted to the soil and climatic conditions and resistant to pest and disease.
Rotations must be as varied as possible and should include legumes or temporary pastures which include legumes, green manure's and deep-rooting plants.
Specific rotations including legumes, may be insisted upon by the certification organisation on farms without animal husbandry.
Sufficient quantities of organic material must be returned to the soil to increase or at least maintain its humus content on a long term basis.
Organic material produced on organic farms must form the basis of the manurial programme.
Management and handling of manure and compost must minimise nutrient losses.
Organic husbandry must be carried out in a way that losses from parasites are of little or no economic importance (varieties well-adapted to the environment, a balanced manurial programme, fertile soils of high biological activity, correct rotations, companion planting, green manure's etc.)
Weeds are controlled by a number of preventive cultural techniques limiting their development (e.g. suitable rotations, green manure's, a balanced manurial programme, early seedbed preparations and pre drilling, mulching etc.) and by mechanical cultivations.
Physical (incl. thermic) methods of weeding are permitted. All synthetic herbicides are excluded.
All synthetic growth regulators, cosmetics, etc. are excluded.
Skills and Competencies needed in Crop Production
- Employability and safety skills
- Land preparation
- Fertilizing and seeding
- Crop care
- Harvest, handle and store forage crops
- Grain crop harvesting
- Operating and servicing equipment and facilities
- People management
- Good communication
- Analytical skills
- Commercial awareness
- IT skills
- The ability to apply technical knowledge of the environment and legislation/public policy matters in a practical environment
- Marketing and sales skills
- Teamwork and leadership
- Paying attention to details
- Problem solving skills
Career Opportunities and Job Options for Crop Production Graduates
- Plant breeder/geneticist
- Crop scientist
- Crop production planning manager
- Seed production operations manager
- Crop manager
- Crop consultant
- Independent grower / farm owner
- Landscape designers
- Commercial greenhouse managers
- Field or lab researcher
- Crop analyst
- Agricultural crop farm manager
- Crop nutrients risk consultant
- Research scientist
- Integrated pest management specialist
- Nursery and garden center managers
Admission Requirements for the study of Crop Production in Nigeria
In UTME, please note that English Language is Compulsory for this course. Therefore, the three (3) other JAMB UTME subject combination needed to study Crop Production under the Faculty of Agriculture in the above Universities include;
Chemistry, Biology/Agriculture and Mathematics or Physics.
The O'level subject combination and requirements needed to study Crop Production;
Five (5) SSC credit passes to include Chemistry, Biology/Agricultural Science Mathematics and one Science/Social Science subject and at least ‘O’ level pass in Physics.