Concept: All About Crops
The large population of our country mainly depends on the cultivation of crops for their livelihood. Our country's weather, soil and other environmental factors favour agricultural practices to a large extent. So, crop production sufficiently contributes to the economy of our country.
What is agriculture?
- The practice of crop production is called agriculture.
- The meaning of agriculture is the cultivation of soil to produce crops.
What are crops?
- A group of similar plants grown over a large area of land for a commercial purpose is called a crop.
- They can be classified based on their utility and the season in which they are grown.
Classification of crops based on their utility:
The crops are classified into the following categories based on their utility—
- Food crops
- The crops which are grown to provide food to the human population all over the world are called food crops.
- Wheat is the most grown crop worldwide, followed by rice.
- Food crops are either directly consumed or used to manufacture different processed food.
- Feed crops:
- The crops which are grown to produce food for the livestock are called feed crops.
- Livestock refers to a group of animals like cows, goats, buffalo, sheep, etc., which man rears to obtain different animal products like milk, eggs, animal fibres etc.
- The fodder for animals is generally obtained from the leaf and stem of the crops grown.
- The vegetative parts of food crops like wheat, rice and millets are also used to make livestock fodder.
- Various kinds of grasses and hay belong to this category.
- Fibre crops:
- Fibres are obtained from either plants or animals.
- Fibre crops are the crops that are mainly grown to obtain the plant fibres.
- Different parts of fibre crops are used for making plant fibres.
- Jute fibres are extracted out of the stem of the jute plant; similarly, the cotton flowers are picked to make cotton fibre.
- Bamboo leaves and sticks are used to make different items, and their pulp is used to make paper.
- Dry coconut parts are also used to make fibres.
- Oil crops:
- The crops which are grown to produce oil are called oil crops.
- Oil is collected by pressing the seeds of such crops.
- The waste collected while extracting oil is used as manure and animal feed.
- Ornamental crops:
- The crops that are cultivated to increase the scenic beauty of any landscape or garden are called ornamental crops.
- These crops produce flowers or possess coloured leaves of various shapes, making the plants look more attractive.
- Industrial crops:
- The crops grown mainly for producing raw materials for different industries are called industrial crops.
- Trees like rosewood, Sal, Arjun, and Mahogany for timber.
- Hevea brasiliensis tree for the production of latex for manufacturing rubber.
- Indigofera tinctoria for producing indigo, a blue dye.
- Wood pulp from many trees is used for the production of paper.
- Commercial crops:
- As the name suggests, these crops are mainly grown to earn money by selling them.
- Various species of mango are also grown as commercial crops.
- Sugarcane is one of the most important commercial crops of India as it gives a considerable amount of economic returns to the farmers of India.
Examples: Wheat, rice, millets, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Examples: Bread, pizza, and pastries are made from wheat as the base ingredient.
India occupies the top position in global cotton production. Maharashtra is the leading cotton-producing state in India.
Examples: Groundnut, sunflower, mustard, sesamum, and olives.
Examples: Flower producing trees like Gulmohar, ornamental shrubs, grasses and climbers like 7 o’clock.
Examples:Fibre crops like jute and cotton.
Classification of crops based on their cultivating season:
- Rabi crops:
- The crops which are grown in the winter season are called rabi crops.
- These crops require less irrigation and low temperature to flourish and give good productivity.
- Rabi crops are generally sown in the months of September to October and harvested in the months of March to April.
- Mustard and peas also can increase the soil's fertility by naturally increasing the nitrogen content of the soil.
- Due to this inherent capability of legumes, farmers grow these plants in turn with the other crops so that the soil's natural fertility is retained.
- Uttar Pradesh is the leading producer of wheat in India.
- Rajasthan is the largest mustard-producing state in India.
Examples: Wheat, mustard, peas, gram, etc.
- These crops are generally grown in summers.
- These crops require frequent irrigation and high temperatures for flourishing.
- Rabi crops are generally sown in the months of May to June and harvested in the months of November to October.
- Sugarcane is a kharif crop that takes more than 6 months to mature. It matures in around 10-15 months.
- Uttar Pradesh is the leading producer of sugarcane in India.
- West Bengal is the top producer of paddy in India.
Examples: Rice, maize, cotton, soybean, sorghum, etc.
- These crops are grown between the kharif and rabi seasons.
- They usually last for a short period, i.e., from March to June.
- The water requirement of zaid crops depends from crop to crop.
Examples: Cucumber, watermelon, pumpkin etc.
Irrigation: It is the practice of supplying water to the crops at regular intervals, primarily through channels to assist crop production.
Manure: Fertiliser made from plant or animal waste that is added to soil to improve soil fertility and crop yield.
Economy: The state of a country in terms of production and consumption of goods.
Legumes: Pod bearing plants.
Did You Know?
- India is the second-largest agricultural producer in the whole world.
- The apples we eat are grown in 600 varieties all over the world.
- Bananas are the fourth largest crop produced after wheat, rice and corn.
- Sikkim claims 100% organic farming, making it the first state in India to do so. Organic farming stands for the production of crops without using any chemical fertilisers, pesticides or weedicides.