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Types of crops - Rabi and Kharif crop seasons in India | Tractorgyan

    Types of crops - Rabi and Kharif crop seasons in India | Tractorgyan

28 Apr, 2022

In India, the agricultural crop year runs from July to June. Based on the monsoon, the Indian cropping season is divided into two distinct seasons: 


Kharif Seasoned Crops and Rabi Seasoned Crops 

During the southwest monsoon, the Kharif cropping season runs from July to October, while the Rabi cropping season runs from October to March (winter). Summer crops are those that are grown between March and June. Other countries that use the terms 'Kharif' and 'rabi' to describe their planting patterns are Pakistan and Bangladesh. 

The phrases 'Kharif' and 'rabi' come from the Arabic language, where Kharif refers to the autumn season and Rabi to the spring season.


What Are Rabi Crops?

Rabi crops are winter-planted crops that are harvested in the spring. Wheat, barley, gram, peas, and lentils are among them. Rabi crops are grown during the cold season, in the winter. There are many different varieties of rabi crops, but wheat, barley, and rapeseed are among the most popular. These crops are planted in the fall and mature during the winter. In the spring, when the weather is warmer, they are picked.


Major Rabi Crop – Wheat 

Wheat is the major Rabi seasoned crop. India is the second-largest producer of wheat and it is a staple food for the entire north and north-western part of India. It is a winter seasoned crop and needs low temperature. Uttar Pradesh is the highest producer of wheat followed by Punjab and Madhya Pradesh.

Wheat crops are typically planted from September to December in various Indian states, depending on the environment, and harvested from February to May, again depending on the climate and the time of seeding.

Wheat has become a successful crop thanks to technological improvements in soil preparation and seed placement at planting time, crop rotation and fertilizer use to increase plant growth, and advances in harvesting processes. 

Another significant rise in productivity happened when seed drills replaced broadcast seeding.


What Are Kharif Crops?

The main crops grown in India during the rainy season are Kharif crops. During the monsoon season, when there is plenty of rain, they are cultivated. Rice, maize, pulses, oilseeds, and cotton are among the Kharif crops. Surface water and precipitation are used to irrigate these crops.


Major Grown Kharif Crop – Rice 

The major grown Kharif crop in India is Rice. Rice is the most widely cultivated and demanded Kharif crop. After China, India is the world's second-largest rice producer. It accounts for almost one-third of India's total cultivated land. Moreover half of India's population relies on it for nourishment. 

Rice is a Kharif-season crop farmed in many Indian states, with West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab ranking first, second, and third, respectively, in rice production. Rice is grown in other states such as Orisha, Assam, Karnataka, and many others.

Rice can be grown at great altitudes and with climatic variations, and it can be cultivated as high as three thousand mm because it grows in hot, humid climates. 

Rice is best suited to places with plentiful water supplies. Clayey or loamy soils with a high water retention capacity are used to grow it.


Difference between Kharif crops and Rabi Crops 

Kharif Crops 

Rabi Crops

Kharif crops are planted in May, usually at the start of the first monsoon season.

Rabi crops are normally sown in the middle of November, after the monsoon rains have passed.

Kharif crops are also known as the autumn crops or monsoon crops

Rabi crops are also known as the winter crops.

Kharif crops require too little or too much rainfall.

Rabi crops remain unaffected by the rains as they are sown in the winter season.

Kharif crops require hot weather and a huge amount of water

Requires warm climate for seed germination and cold climate to grow.

The majority of Kharif crops are rain-fed. Pests and illnesses are also more prevalent in Kharif crops than in rabi crops.

Water from wells, canals, and other sources is used to irrigate rabi crops.

Flowering requires a shorter day length

Flowering requires a longer day length.

Example Maize, Cotton, Rice, Jowar, and Groundnut


Example Barley, Peas, Wheat, Oilseeds, and Gram



How do Different Seasons effects the crop? 

The majority of field crops rely solely on the weather to provide life-sustaining water and energy. The comfort and food supplies of livestock are also dependent on the weather. Adverse weather conditions can occasionally result in productivity losses, especially if they occur during vital stages of growth.

Due to the general warmer spring environment, farmers can sow the first crop (winter barley) earlier than usual, allowing them to produce the second crop (rapeseed) for the remainder of the growing season, improving soil fertility and income. 

The availability of water and fertile soil (soil deposition is driven by water transportation) is another limiting element of cropland growth in the area, therefore agricultural expansion and intensification are currently confined to a specific distance from main river systems.


Factors affecting the crop production other than Kharif and rabi Season.

1. Internal factors include

  • Genetics and hereditary material – genetic factors are responsible for the crop's automated growth or early maturity. They have high-yielding properties and are insect, pest, and disease resistant.


2. External factors include 

  • Climatic conditions – climatic conditions like temperature, atmospheric pressures or humidity, precipitation, gases, or wind velocity are all responsible for affecting the production of the crop.
  •  Biotic factors – biotic factors are beneficial and harmful too as they are caused by living organisms that is plants and animals.
  • Physiographic conditions - Light and wind exposure: a mountain slope exposed to low light intensity and strong dry winds may provide poor agricultural yields (coastal areas and interior pockets)
  • Socio-economic conditions - Appropriate crop selection by humans to meet the food and fodder needs of agricultural households. 


Human-created cultivars for increased productivity or pest and disease resistance 

The ability to mobilize inputs and resources are heavily influenced by the farmers' economic situation (marginal, small, medium, and large farmers) So Kharif and rabi crops are mainly grown in their required season so as to bloom out the best results possible.

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