For many centuries, Andalusian society was mainly agricultural. Even today, 45.74 percent of the Andalusian territory is cultivated. The primary cultivation is dryland farming of cereals and sunflowers without artificial irrigation, especially in the vast countryside of the Guadalquivir valley and the high plains of Granada and Almería-with a considerably lesser and more geographically focused cultivation of barley and oats. Using irrigation, maize, cotton and rice are also grown on the banks of the Guadalquivir and Genil.
The most important tree crops are olives, especially in the Subbetic regions of the provinces of Córdoba and Jáen, where irrigated olive orchards constitute a large component of agricultural output. There are extensive vineyards in various zones such as Jerez de la Frontera (sherry), Condado de Huelva, Montilla-Moriles and Málaga. Fruits—mainly citrus fruits—are grown near the banks of the Guadalquivir; almonds, which require far less water, are grown on the high plains of Granada and Alemería.