A crop is a plant that is grown for food, money or other purposes. There are crops that we eat, such as corn, and crops that we feed animals, such as hay. Some crops, such as cotton, are used to make clothing. Crops are also used to makes products such as oil. For example, we get soybean oil from soybeans! Other examples of crops include oats, wheat, rice and sorghum.
While some crops can stay in place from year to year, others must be regularly replanted. In fact, crops are planted with care! The soil must be tilled, and it must also be protected from forces such as wind and water that can carry away important nutrients that are needed by the plants. Many farmers make money by growing and selling their crops. A variety of machines, such as tractors, are used in the process of growing crops. For example, sprayers apply fertilizers and other chemicals, and planters are used to plant crops in rows. All of this hard work ensures that delicious food reaches your table!
The earliest North American settlers heavily relied on crops! They had to live off the land, and knowing how to grow their own food successfully was an important survival skill. One of their key crops: corn. Did you know that today the United States is the largest corn producer in the world?!