Thursday, June 9, 2016

Crop Production and Management (Part I)

We will divide the topic in three different sections for a better understanding as:
·         Crop and its types
·         Agricultural practices - Preparing the soil, sowing seeds, providing nutrients and irrigation
·         Agricultural Practices - Protection, harvest and storage 

In this post, we will discuss about crop and its types. A part of agricultural practices are discussed here.

Crop and its Types:
Before going into the details of the crops, lets first understand, what is meant by agriculture and a crop?

Agriculture Definition: Agriculture largely means the art of cultivating a piece of land, or in simple terms, planting and growing food plants on it along with rearing of animals (i.e., animal husbandry).

Crop definition: When same type of plant is grown on a large scale (i.e., commercially), then that is referred to as a crop. Crops are grown on a large scale to obtain food.

Classification of Crops:
The crops can be classified into 4 main categories depending on the source of nutrients:
·         Vegetables/fruits/spices – Main source of vitamins and minerals in the diet.

·         Cereals – A starchy grain used for food and source of carbohydrate in the diet.
Example: Wheat, barley, maize

·         Pulses - Part of legume family and are high in protein and fiber and low in fats.
Example: Lentil, pea, gram

·         Oilseed crops – A seed or crop mainly grown for oil and are sources of fats in the diet.
Example: Sunflower, Canola, Olive, Soyabean

Crops can be classified as Kharif and Rabi crops based on which season they are grown.

There is also a third category of crop called as zaid crop. These crops are also known as summer crops. These crops are grown in the short duration between Kharif and Rabi crops, mainly from March to June. They are grown on irrigated lands and so need not wait for monsoons.
Examples: Cucumber, muskmelon, sugarcane, watermelon.

Differences between Kharif and Rabi crops:

Kharif Crops
Rabi Crops
Season of growing
Rainy season (June to September)
Winter season (October to March)
Sowing time
Harvesting time
March/ April
Alternate name
Monsoon Crops
Winter crops
Dependency on monsoons
Depended on south-western monsoons
Independent of monsoons
Rice(Paddy), maize, soyabean, groundnut, cotton, pulses,
Wheat, barley, gram, pea, mustard, potato

This post is in reference to the CBSE, class VIII Biology.