Crops of Kharif Season
Kharif (or southwesterly monsoon) crops include rice, maize, Jawar, bajra, groundnut, cotton and other crops.
Rice cultivation in India stretches from 8ï‚ o latitude to 34ï‚ o N latitude. Rice is also grown in areas below the sea level (as in the Kuttanad region of Kerala) as well as at altitudes of about 2000 m (as in parts of Jammu and Kashmir). High rainfall or assured irrigation is essential for the areas of rice cultivation. Rice crop requires about 30 cm of water per month during the growing period stretching from about 3 to 8 months. Rice is grown on about 40 Mha in the country. This area also includes about 7 Mha which is saline, alkaline or floodprone. Twentyfive percent of the rice growing area has assured irrigation and about 55 per cent of the rice growing area is illdrained or waterlogged. The rest of the ricegrowing area is rained uplands where the rainfall is marginal to moderate and its distribution is erratic.
Rice cultivation in India is either upland cultivation or lowland cultivation. The upland system of cultivation is confined to such areas which do not assured irrigation facilities. In this system, fields are ploughed in summer, farmyard manure is uniformly disturbed 23 weeks before sowing , and the rain water is impounded in the field until the crop is about 4560 days old.
In the lowland system of rice cultivation, the land is ploughed when 510 cm of water is standing in the field. Seeds may be sown after sprouting. Alternatively, seedlings which are 2530 days old are transplanted. The nursery area required to provide seedlings for transplanting on one hectare is roughtly onetwentieth of a hectare. The water requirement of lowland rice cultivation is much higher than that of other cereal crops with similar duration.
Maize is one of the main cereals of the world and ranks first in the average yield. It world average yield of 27.8 qunitals/ hectare (q/ha) is followed by the average yields of rice (225.5q/ha), Wheat (16.3 q/ha) and millets (6.6 q/ha). In terms of area of maiza cultivation, India ran fifth (after USA, Brazil, China and Mexico) in the world. However, India stands eleventh the world in terms of maiza production. Within India, maiza production ranks only next rice, wheat, jawar and bajra in terms of area as well as production. Most of the maize cultivation (around 75 per cent) is in the states of Uttar Pradesh (1.4 Mha), Bihar (0.96 Mha), Madhya Pradesh ( 0.58 Mha), Rajasthan (0.78 Mha) and Punjab (0.52 Mha).
Maize requires deep and well drained fertile soils, but can be grown on any type of sc ranging from heavy clays to light sands provided that the pH does not deviate from the range 7.5 to 8.5. Maize plants, particularly in these seedling stage, are highly susceptible to salinificant and water logging, and hence, proper drainage of the land is essential for the successfully cultivation of maize. Over 85 per cent of the crop area in India is rainfed during the monsoon.
Maize is essentially a warm weather crop grown in different regions of the world ranging from tropical to temperature ones. It cannot withstand frost at any stage of its growth. In India its cultivation extends from the hot arid plains of Rajasthan and Gujarat to the wet regions Assam and West Bengal.
Maize is a short â€'duration (8095) crop and, hence can conveniently fit into a wid range of crop rotations. It is usually grown as a pure crop, but sometimes legumes (e.g., moong arhar or beans), and quick â€'growing vegetables (e.g. pumpkins, gourds) are grown as mixed crops with it.
The sowing of maize starts 710 days before the usual date of the onset of monsoon. One irrigation at the initial stage is useful for the establishment of seedlings and the crop yield is increased by about 1520 per cent. The maize crop is harvested when the grain are nearly dry and do not contain more than 20 per cent moisture. Maize is grown for grains as well as fodder.
Sorghum (popularly known as jawar) is the main food and fodder crop of dry land agriculture. It is grown over an area of about 18 Mha within the average yield of about 600 kg/ha . Jawar cultivation is concentrated mainly in the peninsular and central India, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharastra, Rajasthan, TamilNaud, and Uttar Pradesh are the major jawargrowing states. Jawar is mainly grown where rainfall distribution ranges from 1020 cm per month for at least 3 to 4 months of the south â€'westerly monsoon.
Sorghum is grown during both kharif (JulyOctober) and Rabi (October â€'February) seasons. The Rabi cultivation of jawar constitutes about 37 per cent of the total jawar growing area. Sorghum cultivation still remains predominantly traditional in most parts of the country. Mixed cropping of jawar and arhar (tur) is very common. Harvesting and threshing are still carried out manually or with bullock power. The national average yields are still low and around 500 kg/ha. However, the highyielding hybrid varieties can yield 20003000 kg/ha under average growing conditions.
Spiked Millet (Bajra)
Bajra is a drought crop which is generally preferred in low rainfall areas and lighter soils. It is grown in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh. Over 66 per cent of this crop is grown in areas receiving 1020 cm per month of rainfall, extending over 1 to 4 months of the south
â€'westerly monsoons. It should be noted that jawar and bajra are grown mostly under identical environmental conditions and both have a wide range of adaptability to drought, temperature, and soil.
Groundnut is grown over an aea of about 7 Mha concentrated in the states of Gujarat (24 percent), Andhra Pradesh (20 Per cent), Karnataka (12 per cent), Maharashtra (12 per cent), and Tamil Nadu (13 per cent ). Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh together have about 20 per cent of the total groundnut producing area in the country. Groundnut is generaaly grown as a rainfed Kharif crop. Groundnut is sown during May and June in the subtropics. In the tropics, however, it is sown during either January and February or June and July. Under rainfed conditions the average yield is 12001400 kg per hectare.
Cotton occupies about 7.5 Mha in India, Maharashtra (36 per cent), Gujarat (21 per cent), Karnataka (13 per cent), and Madhya Pradesh (9 per cent) are the leading states which together grown cotton over an area of about 6 Mha. Other cotton growing states are Punjab (5 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (4 per cent), Tamil Nadu (4 per cent), Haryana (3 per cent, and Rajasthan (3 percent) Most of the cotton â€'growing areas in the country are in the high to medium rainfall zones.
Cotton requires a welldrained soil. It is grown as a rain fed crop in the black cotton and medium black soils an as an irrigated crop in alluvial soils. The sowing season varies from region to region and starts early (AprilMay) in north India.
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