Types of Plants: How to classify and manage different plants (2023)

A variety of classifications of plant species are workable in agriculture. First off, there is a list of different types of crops based on their business purposes. Plants can also be classified according to their life cycle, making it easier for farmers to plan their planting and harvesting activities. A new group of genetically modified organisms have recently gained a significant place among agricultural crops, as they help improve access to food while also having some negative environmental impacts.

Farmers should always consider the characteristics of different types of crops when choosing which crops to grow and when planning their farming activities. Modern technology will be particularly beneficial for large-scale classification and management of plant species.

Types of crops according to their use

Rather than being an accurate scientific classification of plants, this list of plant species describes their uses and economic value. There are 6 types of crops according to their purpose: food, fodder, fiber, oilseed, ornamental and industrial.


Historically, food crops were the first to be harvested and grown. They are grown for human consumption. Food crops, especially cereals, are of strategic importance. At the same time, farmers need to keep in mind that while industrial cultivation of food crops has many benefits, it can also have negative environmental impacts such as: B. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The following are the types of food plants.

Grain: wheat, rice, barley, millet, oats, rye,Sorghum, and other. A rich source of starch, protein, fiber and nutrients, grains are an integral part of the daily diet. Corn, rice and wheat in particular provide the highest amount of calories and protein consumed in developing countries.

The type of culture has a significant impact on nitrous oxide emissions. With more than 1,200 million tonsM Shahbandeh. World grain production 2021/22 according to Art. staatsmann.comCorn is the most important grain and the main source of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Mainly related to agricultural activitiesCorn cultivation contributes to N2O emissionsin the following way: overspreading of manure and synthetic fertilizers; cultivation of nitrogen-fixing crops; insufficient drainage, increasing soil saturation; Tillage, release of residual nitrogen; excessive watering.

Togetherinclude different types of crops such asCereals, nuts, legumes and some spices. The seeds are rich in fiber, fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

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fruit:Apples and pears, citrus fruits, stone fruits, tropical and exotic fruits, berries and other species. Fruits are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like flavonoids that promote health.

vegetablesThey have a high water content and are low in calories. They're also high in fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins (especially A and C). There are several types of vegetable crops:

  • tubers:Beets, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips;
  • tubers:Potatoes, yams;
  • stem vegetables:Asparagus, kohlrabi, celery;
  • green leaf:Lettuce, Spinach, Beetroot;
  • Garlic or Onion Vegetables:Garlic, Leek, Onion, Shallot;
  • Head or flower vegetables:Artichokes, cabbage, cauliflower;
  • Vegetables of the cucumber family:Pumpkin, cucumber, zucchini.

Spices are divided into three types:Spicesitself (pepper, ginger),spice seeds, jHerbs. Spices are used sparingly to enhance the flavor and aroma of foods. They contain essential oils and alkaloids that promote appetite and digestion.

forage plants

Forage, also called food, plants contain nutrients that animals need for their development. They are grown for livestock consumption and are essentialpasture management. Some of the main types of forage crops areSorghum, alfalfa, barley, oats, millet, soybeans, wheat and corn.

Forage is divided into two types depending on how it is processed:

  • This eveningit is fodder that has been cut, dried in the field and stored;
  • SilageIt is made by harvesting the plants and storing them in conditions that allow them to break down (ferment) in acids. Types of silage crops include perennial and annual grasses and legumes.

With the increase in global meat demand, feed production has skyrocketed. Increased forage production has transformed the agricultural landscape, leading to massive deforestation to create pastures for cattle.

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fiber cultures

Plants grown to produce fiber for textiles, rope, filler, and paper are known as fibrous plants. The well-known fiber plants areCotton, hemp, jute, kenaf and linen. Some of them have good prospects as agricultural biomass with the potential to be converted into ethanol.

oil crops

Thanks to technological advances over the last century, plants can be processed and broken down into their main components, including oil. Today, the oil crop is the second most important determinant of agricultural economics (after grain) and the third largest user of arable land.Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser (2013) - Land use. Published online at OurWorldInData.org..

The essential plants of this species areSoybeans, sunflower seeds, canola, canola and peanuts. They are high in oils, fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins. Besides producing oil for human consumption, these plant species are used in various industries including soaps, paints, machine lubricants, fuels and many more.

Oil plants also provide the raw materials for the production of biodiesel.Soy, rapeseed, sunflower, camelina and palmare typical sources of biodiesel. Due to the high yield potential of palm trees, thecultivation of palm oilIndustry is constantly expanding.

EOSDA Crop Monitoring

Manage your fields with high-resolution satellite imagery for the most accurate and timely change detection!

ornamental plants

Plants grown for ornamental purposes in parks, gardens and landscaping projects are related to the ornamental type.Ivy, oleander, holly, tulips and azaleasThey are common ornamental plants.

industrial crops

Industrial plants are grown for profit and for industrial use. Also known as commercial or cash crops, they includeCotton, jute, sugar cane, sugar beet, coffee, tea, tobacco, coconut and soybean.

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As you may have noticed, when classifying by use, the same plant can belong to several types. For example, wheat and oats can be food or feed. Sugar cane provides both table sugar and alcohol for bioethanol production. There are of course exceptions. Let's just say that most decorative flowers are as poisonous as they are beautiful.

Types of crops by life cycle

Each harvest goes through a series ofPlant Growth Stages, from germination to seed production. The total duration of all these phases, ie the life cycle, varies between plants. So what are these types of crops based on their life cycles? There are 3 types: annual, biennial and perennial, which we will discuss in more detail.

annual plants

Annual or seasonal plants have an annual life cycle. Since only dormant seeds can be passed from one generation to the next, annual plants must be replanted each season.Tomatoes, radishes, eggplant, peas, beans, squash, lettuce, mustard, sunflower and cerealsare examples of annual plants.

biennial plants

Biennials are flowering plants with a biological life cycle of two years (two growing seasons). In the first year, the plant develops vegetative organs such as leaves, stems and roots. The plant then goes into a dormant phase and overwinters underground during the cold season. Stem elongation, flower and seed development, and maturation occur during the second growing season, after which the plant dies back. The biennial culture type includesCarrots, turnips, turnips, onions, cabbage, parsley and cilantro.

perennial plants

Perennials are plants that can live longer than two growing seasons. This species usually produces a new herbaceous part of the previously existing root system from one season to the next. Perennial plants are trees and shrubs such asPears, apples, almonds, peaches, walnuts and hazelnuts. Someherbaceous flowering plantsjground coverthey also belong to the perennial type.

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Genetically Modified Organisms

Breeders used to select the best specimens to give the plants desired traits, such as higher productivity or resistance to certain types of diseases. Thanks togenetic engineering, we can obtain these properties much faster and with greater certainty. As a result, another type of crop emerged: genetically modified organisms (GMOs), plants whose genetic material has been artificially altered.

Farmers can now buy genetically modified seeds to grow crops resistant to various types of irritants: diseases, extreme temperatures, chemicals, and others. In this way, farmers can significantly reduce costs andincrease crop yields. The variety of applications for different types of GM crops is overwhelming:

  • nutritional improvement: higher vitamin content and healthier fatty acid profiles;
  • stress tolerance: Resistance to temperature extremes, drought orsoil salinity;
  • disease resistance: increased resistance to various types of plant pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi;
  • Biofuels: Enhancement of ethanol conversion by altering plant cell wall composition;
  • phytoremediation: Ability of plants to extract pollutants from the soil.

Despite the many benefits of GMOs, the spread of genetic engineering can drastically reduce biodiversity. In addition, with the resistance of genetically modified plants to pesticides, the use of chemicals is increasing significantly. Therefore duringOrganic FarmingIt is usually more expensive, it has numerous advantages in terms of sustainability.

How to classify and manage different types of crops with satellite technology

When deciding which types of plants to grow, the historical data of the region and the needs of each plant should be taken into account. Later, growers must employ various cultivation and field management practices to maximize yields. Satellite technologies, radar and multispectral imaging support farmers in all these tasks. Using satellite images, you can analyze large areas and get accurate information about the current and historical vegetation of the field.

irrigation management

Water consumption varies depending on the type of crop. If you look at historical yield data, you will see that some plant species outperform others in areas with certain moisture levels. Water is essential for the development of rice, soybeans, wheat, sugarcane, cotton and alfalfa.

If the climate has dry spells, farmers should consider onePrecision Irrigation System. This system must provide plants with sufficient moisture at all stages of their development with minimal use of resources. Historical weather data fromEOSDA Crop Monitoringallows you to view weather trends in a specific field or region, compare precipitation andsoil moistureadapt to the needs of the plant and efficiently prepare your field for the next growing season.

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With a weather forecast, farmers can save money on irrigation by predicting rain, or protect their fields in advance by anticipating potentially damaging natural events such as hail or frost.

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Control of crop rotation

It is known that plant-specific sequences increase yield. For example, many plant species tend to grow faster after legumes because legumes act as nitrogen fertilizers by converting atmospheric nitrogen into a plant-available form and releasing it into the soil. These observations led to the development of several alternative cultivation systems, includingMonoculture,crop rotation, jcatch crop.

Any major player in the agricultural sector (whether it's an agricultural cooperative, agricultural adviser or agricultural credit bank) can keep crop rotation records and analyze their productivity on the EOSDA Crop Monitoring platform. The Field Activity Log makes it easy to plan your cultivation activities, collect and organize data on crop types grown in previous seasons, planting and harvesting dates and more. You can also create a productivity map for a specific area over several years. Low productivity may indicate incorrect cultivation order, which you should reconsider.

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Classification of plant species

EOSDA also offers a variety of customized solutions for large agricultural companies. one isplant classification, which can be used to create a map of crop types in a given region. This technology enables:

  • agricultural cooperatives, banks and other agricultural companies to conduct large-scale inventories and performance assessments;
  • Insurance companies to validate compensation claims with more transparent and accurate plant species classification data;
  • agricultural advisers to follow crop rotation in separate areas;
  • Input providers to more easily select the resources needed for efficient land use management with accurate plant species classification.
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Other applications of satellite data to define and manage plant species include the use of vegetation monitoringNDVI,CHANGE, ReCI andMSAVIVegetation indexes, organize field exploration and save exploration reports, plan field activities and much more. Soon, EOSDA will launch its own constellation into orbit to provide even more detailed analysis of their fields to producers, agricultural insurers and banks, commodity suppliers and other stakeholders. Contact our sales team atsales@eosda.comfor more information on this and other EOSDA offerings.

Article tags:

  • Agriculture
  • EOSDA Crop Monitoring

Types of Plants: How to classify and manage different plants (9)

Vasyl Tscherlinka

Scientist at EOS Data Analytics

Vasyl Cherlinka has more than 30 years of experience in agronomy and pedology (soil science). He has a PhD in Biological Sciences with a specialization in Soil Science.

dr Cherlinka attended engineering college in Ukraine (1989-1993) and then deepened his experience in agrochemistry and agronomy at Chernivtsi National University in the specialty "Agrochemistry and Soil Science".

In 2001 he successfully defended a dissertation “Justification of the agroecological conformity of soil fertility models and their factors to the requirements of crops” and obtained the degree of Candidate in Biosciences with special reference to soil science from the NSC “Institute for Soil Science Research and Agrochemistry named after O.N. Sokolovski”. .

In 2019, Dr. Cherlinka successfully completed a dissertation on “Digital Elevation Models in Soil Science: Theoretical and Methodological Foundations and Practical Use” and received the Sc.D. in life sciences with a specialization in soil science.

Vasyl is married, he has two children (son and daughter). He has a lifelong passion for sports (he is a candidate for the Master of Sports of Ukraine in powerlifting and has even competed in strongman competitions).

Since 2018, Dr. Cherlinka the EOSDA on problems in soil science, agronomy and agrochemistry.

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