The same kind of plant grown and cultivated over a large surface area.
Example: Rice is grown over a large area.
Types of Crops
1. Kharif Crops
- Sown during June and harvested during September i.e. during the raining season because they require a lot of water.
- Examples: Gram, Pea, Mustard, Wheat etc.
2. Rabi Crops
- Sown during October and harvested during March i.e. during the winter season.
Example: Paddy, Maize, Groundnuts etc. Wheat
Try yourself:In which month are the kharif crops sown?
The kharif crops are sown in June. Kharif crops, which are also known as monsoon crops, are the crops which are grown during the monsoon or rainy season (June to October). The main Kharif crops grown in India include paddy, maize, jowar, bajra, cotton, sugarcane, groundnut, pulses etc.
Activities are done by farmers during cultivation.
Following activities are called agricultural practices:
- Preparation of Soil
- Adding Manures and Fertilizers
1. Preparation of Soil
- The soil can be loosened by ploughing or tilling by using ploughs that are made up of iron or wood. Loosening of soil helps, the roots to penetrate and respire (breathe).
- It also helps in the growth of microorganisms and earthworms, which provide nutrition to the plants. A plough is made of wood with an iron strip called ploughshare at the bottom and is drawn by a pair of bulls.
- It is used for tilling the soil, removing weeds, adding fertilizers etc.
- A Hoe is used to remove weeds (the process of removing weeds is called weeding) and loosen the soil.
- Cultivators are Modern-day tilling machines pulled by a tractor. It contains several hard iron blades that can plough a larger area thus reducing labour and time.
Try yourself:What are the advantages of preparing the soil?
Turning and Loosening of the soil are the two most important steps in soil preparation:
- The process of turning brings a deep layer of soil that is rich in nutrients to the topmost layer or topsoil.
- Loosening of the soil allows roots to easily penetrate the soil and also helps in growth of earthworms and microbes that in turn help in the formation of humus.
- Sowing is the method of burying the seeds in the soil. Good quality seeds are used for sowing. Damaged seeds are hollow and lighter, so floats on the water and can be separated from the good seeds.
- The traditional method of sowing include a funnel and modern methods use a seed drill that can bury seeds at even distance and depths.
Traditional Seed Drill
Modern Seed Drill
3. Adding Manures and Fertilizers
- Manure and fertilizers contain nutrients essential for plant growth.
Table: Difference between Manure and FertilizersAdvantages of Manure:
- It increases the water-holding capacity of the soil.
- It makes the soil porous for the exchange of gases.
- It increases the growth of useful microorganisms.
- Watering the plants at different time intervals during cultivation is called irrigation.
- Traditional methods of irrigation:
(i) Moat (pulley system)
(ii) Chain pump
(iv) Rahat (Lever system)
- Modern Methods of Irrigation:
(i) Sprinkler: Perpendicular pipes with a rotating nozzle are attached to a horizontal main pipeline. It is used on uneven surfaces and in water-scarce regions.
(ii) Drip Irrigation: Plants are watered at the roots drop by drop. It is used for watering fruit plants, gardens and trees.
- Undesirable plants growing along with the crop plant are called weeds. Weeds compete with the crop plant for space, nutrient and light.
- The removal of weeds is called weeding. Chemicals that are used to kill weeds are called weedicides. Weeds can also be removed manually using a khurpi or a seed drill.
Try yourself:Consider the following statements about weeding and identify the incorrect one.
Weeding is the process of removal of weeds (unwanted plants) in agricultural land. It is a process best done before planting and during tilling so that weeds do not mature and do not interfere with the harvesting process. Weeding can be done manually by using tools like khurpi or chemically done by using weedicides.
- The cutting of a crop after it matures is called harvesting. Crops are cut manually using a sickle or by a harvester. After the crop has been harvested seeds are separated from the chaff by a process called threshing.
- Winnowing: It is the process of separating grain from the chaff using wind.
- Storing the grains away from moisture, insects, rats and microorganisms. Grains are dried in the sun before storage to prevent germination and spoilage.
- Grains are stored in silos and granaries. Some crops such as potato and tomatoes are stored in cold storages.
- Animal Husbandry: Rearing and caring of animals for their products such as eggs, meat, wool etc. is called animal husbandry.
Try yourself:Arrange the following agricultural practices in the order in which they are followed:
- Preparation of soil
In basic agricultural practice, the first step is to prepare the soil for the crop. This step includes tilling or ploughing. Once the soil is well prepared, sowing is done. After sowing, a continuous water supply for crop growth is provided by irrigation. When the crops are ripe, they are harvested and the grains obtained are stored for further use.