what is a perennial crop? Perennial crops are crops which completes their life cycle or harvesting time in more than two planting season.
These types of crops called perennial crop completes their life productive cycle from two years and above. Perennial crops are mostly tree crops.
how to identify perennial crops
Identifying perennial crop can be done through a combination of visual observations and knowledge of common perennial plants. Here are some steps to help you identify perennial crops:
Research common perennial crop: Start by familiarizing yourself with common perennial crops in your region or the specific area you\’re interested in. Perennial crops can include fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other plants that live for multiple years.
Observe the plant\’s lifespan: Perennial crops are plants that live for more than two years, often producing harvestable yields over multiple seasons.
They typically have a longer lifespan compared to annual crops, which complete their life cycle within a single year.
Look for persistent growth: Perennial crops will exhibit persistent growth, meaning they will regrow from the same roots or base each year.
Unlike annual plants that die back after producing seeds, perennial crops will continue to produce foliage and may have woody stems or roots.
Notice plant size and structure: Perennial crops often have larger sizes compared to annuals, as they have more time to establish themselves.
Look for plants with well-developed root systems, multiple stems, and branching patterns that indicate their perennial nature.
Observe the flowering and fruiting patterns: Many perennial crops produce flowers and fruits, although this may vary depending on the specific crop.
If you notice consistent flowering or fruit from a plant over multiple years, it is likely a perennial crop.
Research growth habits and seasonal patterns: Perennial crops may have specific growth habits and seasonal patterns.
Some crops may go dormant during certain seasons, while others may have specific growth requirements or pruning practices. Understanding these characteristics can help in identifying perennial crops.
Seek expert advice: If you\’re unsure about a particular plant\’s classification, it can be helpful to consult local agricultural extension services, horticulturists, or experienced gardeners. They can provide guidance based on their expertise and knowledge of the region.
The perennial crop matures for harvesting after two years of planting
- Most perennial crops can be harvested beyond 10 years after planting during their life cycle
importance of perennial crops
- One of the key importance of perennial crops is that they serve as a source of food for the farmer
- Perennial crops are a major source of income. This is not just to the farmer but a source of foreign exchange for countries and individuals
- Crops like cocoa, mango, orange and coconut are an example of perennial crops which are a ready source of food the people and even animals
- Most perennial crop are a source of raw material for the agro-allied industries
lists of perennial crops
1. Cashew tree
2. Cocoa tree
4. Cola nut
5. Oil palm tree
6. Rubber tree
7. Moringa plant
- Cherry tree
- Duca nut, this fruit is often called ogbolo or ogbono in Nigeria
Apples (Malus domestica): Apple trees are long-lived and can bear fruit for several decades. They are a popular perennial crop with a wide range of cultivars available, offering various flavours, textures, and colours.
Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis): Asparagus is a perennial vegetable crop grown for its young shoots, which are harvested and consumed.
It requires patience as it takes a few years to establish a productive asparagus bed, but once established, it can provide harvests for up to 20 years.
Grapes (Vitis vinifera): Grapevines are perennial plants that produce fruit used for fresh consumption, juice, wine, or raisins.
They are trained on trellises or arbours and can thrive for many years, with some vineyards containing grapevines that are over a century old.
Blueberries (Vaccinium spp.): Blueberry bushes are perennial fruit plants known for their antioxidant-rich berries. Once established, they can provide harvests for 10-20 years or longer, depending on the variety and proper care.
Almonds (Prunus dulcis): Almond trees are perennial nut trees that require a warm climate to thrive. They take several years to reach maturity and start producing a significant crop, but they can live for several decades and yield a valuable nut crop.
Asimina (Asimina triloba): Asimina, commonly known as pawpaw, is a perennial fruit tree native to North America. Its fruit has a custard-like texture and a tropical flavour. Pawpaw trees are relatively small and can produce fruit for 20-30 years.
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum): Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable that is typically used in desserts and jams. It has large, edible leaf stalks that are tart and juicy. Once established, a rhubarb plant can provide harvests for many years.
Lavender (Lavandula spp.): Lavender is a perennial herb with aromatic purple flowers. It is commonly grown for its essential oil, which is used in perfumes, soaps, and culinary applications.
Lavender plants can live for several years, providing a fragrant and visually appealing addition to gardens or commercial fields.
These are just a few examples of perennial crops, showcasing the diversity of options available for farmers and gardeners to establish long-lasting, productive plantings.
Going into perennial crop cultivation, the farmer should take into account the availability of enough land and the effects of the land tenure system practised in those communities where he intends to site his farm.
The farmer should make sure that the piece of land he wants to use is not land that the owners would want to use after a few years of the lease.
The farmer should be of the availability of funds like grants, loans and any other form of financial assistance from the government or NGOs
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