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Commodities produced from the earth which are planted, raised, and gathered within the course of a single season.Crops might be produced either naturally or under cultivation. This distinction becomes important when determining whether a crop is to be sold as Personal Property or as real estate, and also in terms of how crops are to be devised.

Fructus naturales are crops that are produced by the powers of nature alone, without any harvesting methods. They include fruit trees, berries growing on bushes, and hay growing spontaneously from perennial roots. They are considered real property when they are not severed from the land, but personal property when severed.

Fructus industriales, or emblements, are annual crops that are raised by yearly labor and owe their existence to human intervention and cultivation. Such crops include wheat, corn, and vegetables. Authorities differ as to whether they constitute real or personal property.

The ownership of crops is generally held to be in the owner of the land, whether the crops are natural or cultivated. The owner may voluntarily choose to sever and sell the crops, without being obligated to sell the land upon which they are grown. The situation often arises in which the land belongs to one person and the crops belong to another, such as in the case of one person leasing land from another person. In such a case, whoever is in possession of the land subject to the consent of the owner may take and carry away the products of land resulting from his or her own care and labor.

Ordinarily, crops that are attached to land at the time of a sale pass automatically to the buyer, except where the owner has provided to the contrary. Someone disposing of land may, therefore, stipulate the retention of the title to the crops.

It has been widely held that a trespasser who enters another person's land and cultivates crops does not acquire title to them, since the owner is lawfully entitled to full possession and enjoyment of his or her property. Some authorities have held that as long as crops planted by an intruder remain unsevered, they are the property of the owner of the land upon which they are planted, whereas severed crops belong to the trespasser if he or she possesses the land when the crops are ready to be harvested.


Agricultural Law.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
I planted about two acres and a half of upland; and as it was only about fifteen years since the land was cleared, and I myself had got out two or three cords of stumps, I did not give it any manure; but in the course of the summer it appeared by the arrowheads which I turned up in hoeing, that an extinct nation had anciently dwelt here and planted corn and beans ere white men came to clear the land, and so, to some extent, had exhausted the soil for this very crop.
And, by the way, who estimates the value of the crop which nature yields in the still wilder fields unimproved by man?
When my hoe tinkled against the stones, that music echoed to the woods and the sky, and was an accompaniment to my labor which yielded an instant and immeasurable crop. It was no longer beans that I hoed, nor I that hoed beans; and I remembered with as much pity as pride, if I remembered at all, my acquaintances who had gone to the city to attend the oratorios.
"When crops fail it is necessary to remit taxation.
"We'll begin with him to-morrow, and look at his crops as we go.
The crop of clover coming up in the stubble was magnificent.
It seemed too strange for words to see others harvest the wheat and to know that the usual crop could not be put in.
Am I not the lord of the earth, above and below-entitled by right and custom to one-eighth of the crop? Yet this devil, establishing himself, refuses to pay a single tax .
The moon was at full and drew out the scent of the tasseled crop. Then I heard the anguished bellow of a Himalayan cow-one of the little black crummies no bigger than Newfoundland dogs.
But as the beasts ruined me before, while my corn was in the blade, so the birds were as likely to ruin me now, when it was in the ear; for, going along by the place to see how it throve, I saw my little crop surrounded with fowls, of I know not how many sorts, who stood, as it were, watching till I should be gone.
This touched me sensibly, for I foresaw that in a few days they would devour all my hopes; that I should be starved, and never be able to raise a crop at all; and what to do I could not tell; however, I resolved not to lose my corn, if possible, though I should watch it night and day.
I'll give it to you, Marmee, just to remember past glories by, for a crop is so comfortable I don't think I shall ever have a mane again."