Dryland Farming: Importance & Different types of Dryland Farming | Tractorgyan

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Dryland Farming: Importance & Different types of Dryland Farming | Tractorgyan

    Dryland Farming: Importance & Different types of Dryland Farming | Tractorgyan

12 Nov, 2022

Be it a winter season, summer season or rainy season a farmer must carry out their farming and agricultural practices throughout the year by keeping in consideration the havoc climatic change and uneven weather condition that persists throughout the years. 

It is easier to grow crops in areas that are fully irrigated and blessed with an adequate amount of water for crop production but what about areas that do have sufficient water and did not receive enough rainfall or areas which are dry in the region? How is farming practiced in dry areas?

What Is Dry Land farming in Agriculture?

Dryland agriculture is the practice of growing crops solely with natural rainfall and without the use of irrigation. It is a type of subsistence farming in areas where a lack of soil moisture inhibits the growth of crops like rice, sugarcane, and other crops that need water to flourish. Low and unpredictable rainfall and a lack of reliable irrigation systems define dry places. The majority of the coarse grain crops, pulses, oilseeds, and raw cotton are farmed on these lands, making desert agriculture crucial to the economy.


Importance of Dryland Farming

Dryland Farming ensures crop growth in dry and semi-arid locations without relying on natural rainfalls, drier farming is quite useful. Certain regions of India have a persistent lack of additional rainfall due to ongoing climate change. As a result, it appears that dry land farming is a viable option for growing crops even in times of scarcity.


Different Types of Dryland Farming

Dryland Agriculture

Dryland farming is primarily dependent upon rainfall conditions without stable or secure irrigational facilities. Dryland farming is divided into 3 main types focusing depending on the amount of rainfall received.

  • Dry Farming
  • Dryland farming
  • Red Fed Farming
  1. Dry Farming: Dry farming is a type of dryland farming where the cultivation of plants and production of crops takes place in an area that receives rainfall of less than 750mm per year. 
  2. Dryland farming: Dryland farming is when the cultivation of plants or production of crops takes place in areas in which the rainfall exceeds 750mm amount of rainfall per year.
  3. Red Fed Farming: Red Fed Farming is a type of dry land farming in which cultivation of plants and production of crops takes place in areas that receive above 1150 mm amount of rainfall per year.


Techniques for Dryland Farming or how Dry land farming is practiced:

To practice dryland farming the farmers need to adopt certain techniques or learn about various practices to incorporate the habit of dryland farming into their farming activity. 

  1. Mulching: Mulching is the ideal way to keep moisture in the soil because evaporation causes more than 75% of rain to be lost. Plant waste, straws, plastic materials, and other items can be used as mulch to keep water in the soil for a longer period. The greatest mulch for holding water is plastic.
  2. Shelterbelts and windbreaks: A windbreak is a structure made up of rows of trees or other plants that are planted in such a way as to break the constant flow of the wind, which lowers the rate of evaporation. Also known as a shelterbelt, this combination of plants and trees protects the inner plants from strong winds. Shelterbelts and windbreaks are nearly identical.
  3. Weed control: Another practical method for slowing the evaporation process is weed control. Regular weeding prolongs the life of the moisture in the soil by ensuring that it is only available to helpful plants. 
  4. Antitranspirant: The antitranspirant is a substance that keeps the water in a good condition by limiting plant transpiration. To lower the rate of transpiration, it is sprayed to plant leaves.

Crops that can be grown or cultivated using the dryland farming: 

There is a wide variety of crops that can be grown and cultivated with the help of dryland farming. From cereals grain to grain legumes and leafy vegetable variety of variable crops can be grown or cultivated under dryland farming additionally fruits can also be grown using dryland farming.

Crops like wheat, corn, and millet dryland farming further include the winter season grown wheat, maize, bans, sunflower, watermelon, tomatoes, pumpkin, rye, grapes, etc. Ragi has been proposed to be the most suitable grown crop in dryland farming.


How to Improve Soil Water Absorption for Dryland Agriculture?

dryland farming

To preserve soil moisture, several techniques can be used. Most of these soil moisture conservation methods are affordable. Many of the techniques focus on giving the soil some sort of protection from the sun and heat to reduce evapotranspiration and direct soil exposure. 

In general, most techniques used to preserve and improve soil quality will also aid soil moisture conservation. The following are a few examples of techniques for preventing excessive soil moisture loss: 

  • Deep tillage: Deep tillage, which is suitable for regions and soils, can assist raise the porosity and permeability of the soil to increase its capacity to absorb water. 
  • Growing a variety of crops with varying planting schedules and growth phases is known as mixed cropping and interplanting.
  • Contour plowing: By ploughing the soil along the contour rather than the uphill and downhill slopes, the rate of runoff is slowed down, forming even barriers, and more water is stored in the soils and dispersed evenly across the field.
  • Rotating your crops each season increases the soil's structure and, as a result, its ability to hold water. As plants take water from various depths inside the soil, examples include rotating deep-rooted and shallow-rooted crops that make use of previously unused soil moisture.
  • Growing plants purely for the aim of adding them to the soil to boost their organic matter and nutrients is known as "green manuring." The enhanced soil quality also enhances the soil's ability to retain water.

Areas where dryland farming is practiced:

Dryland farming is practiced in Northern Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and areas of Tamil Nadu too.



Dryland farming ensures the preservation of current resources as new approaches would need to be developed to increase the sustainability and productivity of the delicate dryland ecosystems. We must use the most recent technological advancements to turn drylands (grey regions) into green spaces to realize the evergreen revolution. 

Drylands provide excellent opportunities for the development of horticulture, Horti-agroforestry, and other agricultural areas that not only provide food, fuel, and fodder for cattle but also provide an appropriate vegetative cover for ecological preservation. 


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Recently Asked Question about Dryland Farming: Importance & Different types of Dryland Farming | Tractorgyan

Dryland farming is the practice of growing crops solely with natural rainfall and without the use of irrigation.
Dry Farming, Dryland farming and Red Fed Farming are different types of dryland farming.
Mulching, Shelterbelts and windbreaks, Weed control and Antitranspirant are different techniques for dryland farming.

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