Other Major Crops
Sugarcane is the main source of sugar and is an important cash crop. It occupies about 1.8 percent of the total cultivated area in the country. In the past, the area under sugarcane has been fluctuating between 2 and 2.7 Mha. Uttar Pradesh along accounts for about 47 per cent of annual production in terms of raw sagar. However, the production per hectare is the highest in Karnataka by Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
Medium heavy soils are best suited for sugarcane. it can also be grown on lighter and heavy soils provided that there is sufficient irrigation available in the former and drainage is good in the latter type of soils. In north India, it is cultivated largely on the loams and clay loams of the Gangetic and other alluviums. In peninsular India, it is grown on brown on reddish loams, laterites, and black cotton soils.
Sugarcane grows over a prolonged period. In north India, planting of sugarcane coincides with the beginning of warm weather and is completed well before the onset of summer. Usually, January and February are the best months for planting of sugarcane in Bihar, February in Uttar Pradesh, and the first fortnight of March in Punjab and Haryana.
In the case of sugarcane, the maintenance of optimum soil moisture during al stages of growth is one the essential requisites for obtaining higher yields. The crops should, therefore, be grown in area of welldistributed rainfall with assured and adequate irrigation. The total irrigation requirement of the crop for optimum yield varies between 200 and 300 cm . Sugarcane ripens around December and its sugar content continues to rise till about the end of March by which time it is harvested in north India.
Tea is a important beverage and its consumption in the world is more than that of any other beverage. India and SriLanka are the important tea growing countries. In India, tea is grown in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. Tea is grown over an area of about 358,000 hectares and about 470 million kilograms of the product is obtained annually. The tea crop is the most important plantation crop of India.
The tea plant, in its natural state, grows into a small or mediumsize tree. In commercial plantations, it is pruned and trained to form a multibranched low bush. Appropriate schedule of fertilizer applications is very useful to produce vigorous vegetative growth of the tea crop. The tea plants are generally raise din nurseries. About one to one anda half year old nursery seedlings are used for field plantation. Timely irrigation is essential for the production of good quality leaves.
Amongst vegetables, potato is grown over the largest area (for any single vegetable) int eh world. In the plains of north India, potato is sown from the middle of September to the beginning of January. Two successive crops can be raised on the same land. Potato needs frequent irrigation depending upon the soil and climatic conditions. Generally, size irrigation a are sufficient.
Salient detail of some of the main crops of India is given in Table. Table gives details about irrigated area under principal crops in different states .