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Factors Affecting Crop Production – Complete List

Crop production is all about growing different plants to produce food, and it is affected by various factors. Imagine you are trying to grow your vegetables in your garden. The weather matters, like how hot or rainy it is. The soil should be good enough and need to water plants every day.

At the same time have to watch out for bugs and diseases as they can harm your plants. Selecting the right seeds is an essential step. All these factors decide how well your plants will grow and how much food you will get. Let’s look at every factor that affects crop production together in the following article.

Factors Affecting Crop Production

Crop production is a very complex process. Its completion depends on crop and environmental factors. Apart from these, socio-economic and political factors also determine the success of crop production. Crop production is an art, science, and business. Check the following factors that affect crop production.

Factors Affecting Crop Production - Complete List - Exams_3.1Different Factors of Crop Production

Crop Production depends on many things. Like, the weather needs to be just right, and the soil should have proper nutrients, enough water to roots regularly, and most importantly bugs and diseases. Farmers also use smart tricks and tools to help their crops grow better. When everything fits together nicely, farmers can grow plenty of tasty crops for everyone to enjoy. Several factors affecting production are:

Internal Factors

Internal factors of crop production include Genetic or Hereditary components. Genetics can be easily known with the development and introduction of new varieties & hybrid of cultivated crops and consequently upon there has been a big jump in the production & productivity of crops. The external factors very little influence these factors. These include:

  • Yield Potential: Certain crop varieties tend to have higher yields, meaning they can produce more food per unit of land area.
  • Disease Resistance: Some crop varieties possess genetic resistance to common pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical pesticides and improving crop health.
  • Drought Tolerance: Certain crop varieties are genetically adapted to survive and thrive in regions with limited water availability, making them suitable for cultivation in arid or semi-arid environments.
  • Pest Resistance: Some crops have genetic traits that make them less attractive or more resilient to insect pests, reducing the damage caused by pest infestations.
  • Environmental Conditions: Different crop varieties grow in specific climatic conditions, such as cold tolerance, heat tolerance, or tolerance to extreme weather events like frost or hail.
  • Nutrient Efficiency: Certain crop varieties efficiently utilize nutrients from the soil, reducing the need for excessive fertilizer application and improving nutrient uptake efficiency.
  • Maturity and Growth Habit: Genetic factors influence the timing of flowering, fruiting, and maturity of crops, allowing farmers to select varieties that match their growing season and climate conditions.
  • Quality Traits: Genetic factors also determine various quality attributes of crops, such as taste, texture, color, and nutritional content, influencing consumer preferences and market demand.

External Factors

The external factors include different environmental factors. The environment is defined as the aggregate of all the external conditions and influences affecting the life and development of the crop. Nearly 50 % of yield is attributed to the influence of climatic factors. These include:

  1. Temperature
  2. Precipitation
  3. Solar radiation
  4. Atmospheric humidity
  5. Wind velocity
  6. Atmospheric gases


  • It measures the intensity of heat. The average range of temperature for agricultural plants is between 15 and 40ºC.
  • Where a place is located, like how close it is to the equator or how high up it is, decides how hot or cold it gets there. This affects which plants can grow there.
  • It also affects how many leaves plants can grow, how big they get, and when they make flowers.
  • Inside plants, things like how they breathe and drink water are influenced by temperature.
  • Temperature changes also affect how gases and liquids move inside plants.
  • The ability of different stuff to dissolve in plants depends on how hot or cold it is.
  • Each plant has its own rules about temperature: there’s a coldest it can handle, the hottest it can handle, and a temperature where it grows best.
  • Cardinal Temperature is known as the minimum, maximum (above which crop growth ceases), and optimum temperature of an individual’s plant.
Temperature of Different Crops
Crop Minimum Temperature (ºC) Optimum Temperature (ºC) Maximum Temperature (ºC)
Rice 10 32 36-38
Wheat 4.5 20 30-32
Maize 8-10 20 40-43
Sorghum 12-13 25 40
Tobacco 12-14 29 35


  • Precipitation covers all the water that comes down from the sky, whether it’s rain, snow, hail, fog, or dew.
  • Rainfall plays an important role in shaping the vegetation and agriculture of an area. The amount and pattern of rainfall greatly influence which crops can be grown successfully.
  • Regions with plentiful and evenly distributed rainfall are suitable for crops like rice in flat areas and tea, coffee, and rubber in hilly regions.
  • Areas with low and irregular rainfall are often used for dryland farming, where crops like pearl millet and sorghum, which are resistant to drought, are cultivated.
  • Deserts, where rainfall is scarce, typically support grasses and shrubs that can survive in hot and dry conditions.
  • In many cases, the timing and distribution of rainfall are more critical for successful crop production than the total amount of rainfall received.

Solar Radiation

  • Solar radiation plays a pivotal role in every stage of a plant’s life cycle, from germination to post-harvest activities.
  • Biomass Production: Plants need sunlight to make food through photosynthesis, which builds their mass.
  • Temperature Control: Sunlight regulates temperature, keeping it in the range plants prefer for growth.
  • Photosynthesis: Certain types of light are essential for plants to make food—particularly visible light. Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR – 0.4 – 0.7µ) is essential for the production of carbohydrates and ultimately biomass.
Wavelength Range (µ) Color Activity Level
0.4 – 0.5 Blue-Violet Active
0.5 – 0.6 Orange – Red Active
0.5 – 0.6 Green – Yellow Low Active
  • Day Length Matters: Some plants need short days to flower, while others need long days.  Such as Rice, Sunflower, and Cotton: Short day (<12 hours); Barley, Oats, Carrot, and Cabbage: Long day (>12 hours); Tomato and Maize: Day-neutral (no specific requirement).
  • Light Direction Matters: Plants grow toward light sources, like the sun, in a process called phototropism.
  • Variety Sensitivity: Some plant varieties need specific amounts of light to grow properly.

Atmospheric Humidity

  • Relative humidity is the ratio of the amount of moisture present in the air to the saturation capacity of the air at a particular temperature. It indicates how close the air is to being saturated with water vapor.
  • Relative humidity influences how much water crops need. If the relative humidity is high, plants may transpire less because the air is already holding a lot of moisture.
  • For most crop plants, a relative humidity of 40-60% is suitable. This range provides enough moisture for plants without causing excessive water loss through transpiration.
  • Very high humidity, especially above 80%, can be problematic for many crops. It can create favorable conditions for pests and diseases to occur.

Wind Velocity

  • The wind carries moisture (precipitation) and heat, which are essential for plant growth and development.
  • Moving wind also supplies fresh carbon dioxide (CO2) to plants, which is crucial for photosynthesis, the process by which plants make their food.
  • Wind movement at a speed of 4-6 km/hour is suitable for most crops, ensuring proper ventilation and distribution of moisture and heat.
  • Excessive wind speed can cause mechanical damage to crops by removing leaves, and twigs, and even damaging certain crops like bananas and sugarcane.
  • Wind disperses pollen and seeds naturally, which is necessary for the reproduction and genetic diversity of certain crops.
  • Wind can cause soil erosion by carrying away the top layer of soil, which can negatively impact crop growth and soil fertility.
  • Wind helps in cleaning produce by removing dust, debris, and pests from plants, thus benefiting farmers.

Atmospheric Gases

  • Atmospheric Composition
  • CO2: 0.03%
  • O2: 20.95%
  • N2: 78.09%
  • Argon: 0.93%
  • Others: 0.02%
  • Carbon Dioxide is crucial for photosynthesis, the process by which plants produce their food. Plants absorb it through tiny pores called stomata on their leaves.
  • Oxygen (O2) is vital for the respiration of both plants and animals. Plants release oxygen during photosynthesis.
  • Atmospheric nitrogen is fixed in the soil through processes such as lightning, rainfall, and nitrogen-fixing microbes, making it available to plants.
  • Certain gases like sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), and hydrogen fluoride (HF) released into the atmosphere can be toxic to plants, affecting their growth and health.


Plants grown on land completely depend on the soil on which they grow. The soil factors that
affect crop growth are discussed below.

Soil moisture

  • Water essential for plant growth and photosynthesis
  • Available moisture between field capacity and permanent wilting point
  • Clay soil retains more moisture than sandy soil

Soil air

  • Aeration essential for water absorption and germination
  • Oxygen required for root and microbial respiration
  • Facilitates nutrient availability and organic matter decomposition

Soil temperature

  • Affects physical, and chemical processes, water absorption, and nutrient availability
  • Influences seed germination and growth rate
  • Controls microbial activity and nutrient processes

Soil mineral matter

  • Derived from weathering rocks
  • Provides essential plant nutrients (e.g., Ca, Mg, S, Mn, Fe, K)

Soil organic matter

  • Supplies major, minor, and micro-nutrients
  • Improves soil texture and water-holding capacity
  • Source of food for microorganisms
  • Aids nutrient release through decomposition

Soil organisms

  • Decompose organic matter, releasing nutrients
  • Fix atmospheric nitrogen for crop use

Soil reactions

  • Decompose organic matter, releasing nutrients
  • Fix atmospheric nitrogen for crop use

Biotic Factors

Growing crops depends on many things, like how plants interact, the animals around them, and the land’s features.


  • Mutual benefits are observed when different crops (cereals and legumes) are grown together.
  • Competition and complementarity among field crops when grown together.
  • Examples of competition: Demand for nutrients, moisture, and sunlight; Weed-crop competition (e.g., Striga parasite on sugarcane).


  • Soil fauna aid in organic matter decomposition (e.g., protozoa, nematodes, snails, insects).
  • Some insects and nematodes cause crop yield damage.
  • Beneficial organisms: Honey bees and wasps assist in cross-pollination, and earthworms aid in soil aeration and drainage.
  • Large animals like cattle and goats can damage crops through grazing.

Physiographic Factors

  • Topography: The nature of the surface earth (level or sloped) indirectly affects crop growth.
  • Altitude: An increase in altitude leads to temperature decrease, precipitation increase, and higher wind velocity.
  • Steepness of Slope: Steep slopes result in rainwater runoff and loss of nutrient-rich topsoil.
  • Exposure to Light and Wind: Mountain slopes exposed to low light intensity and strong dry winds may lead to poor crop yields.

Socio-economic Factors

  • Society’s inclination towards farming and availability of members for cultivation.
  • Human choice of crops to meet food and fodder requirements.
  • Breeding varieties for increased yield or resistance to pests and diseases.
  • The economic conditions of farmers influence resource mobilization and input availability.

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