Bumper Crop

Last updated: October 4, 2021

What Does Bumper Crop Mean?

The term bumper crop has been used for generations in horticulture to refer to an unexpectedly large crop yield that has been produced under optimal, yet rare, conditions, such as abundant rainfall, a mild spring, an unseasonably long summer, an unexplainable lack of pest infections, or a mild, frost-free autumn.

It is also used to denote a lack of storage space such as in a barn, silo, or grain bin.

The word ‘bumper’ on its own has a lesser known meaning. Bumper is often used when referring to something that is unusually large.


Maximum Yield Explains Bumper Crop

Generations ago, a bumper was a very large cup that was usually filled to the brim with wine. The bumper cup would often be used for toasting some momentous or large life event. During the toast, the rim of the bumper cup would be bumped against the rim of another bumper cup in celebration.

Nowadays, many people think the term ‘bumper crop’ sounds odd. The word bumper denoting something large can be traced back to a quote in the Gentleman’s magazine of 1759, ‘In some of the midland counties, anything large is called a bumper, as a large apple or pear.’ Eventually, by 1885, the entire term ‘bumper crop’ was being used in print publications as a reference to a very large agricultural crop.


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