Crop Seasons and Soils in India – Agriculture in India PDF

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Soils-Crops-Seasons-Agriculture in India PDF covers the Agriculture in India and different types of soils, crops and Seasons in India. It also covers other important points related to agriculture in India.

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Agriculture in India PDF:

Types of Crop Seasons in India:

In India there are three major crop seasons:

  • Kharif Crop Season
  • Rabi Crop Season
  • Zaid Crop Season

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Kharif Crop Season:

  • Kharif crops or monsoon crops are sown with the beginning of the first rains in July, during the south-west monsoon season in India.
  • The Kharif Season lasts from June to October.
  • Kharif means “autumn” in Arabic. Since this period coincides with the beginning of autumn / winter in the Indian sub-continent, it is called “Kharif period”.
  • Kharif crops are dependent on the large quantity of rain water as well its timing.
  • Jowar, Rice (Paddy), Millet, Maize (corn), Soyabean, turmeric, Groundnut, cotton, sugarcane, green gram (moong), seasome (till), arhar (toor), black gram (urad), Tea, Coffee , Rubber are the major crops sown during this season.

Rabi Crop Season:

  • The Rabi crops are sown around mid-November, after the monsoon rains are over, and harvesting begins in April/May.
  • The crops are grown either with rainwater that has percolated into the ground, or with irrigation. It also requires cold weather and less water compared to Kharif crops.
  • The major rabi crop in India is wheat, followed by barley, mustard, sesame, peas, oats, cereals, pulses, oilseeds, Linseeds etc.
  • The term “Rabi” is derived from the Arabic word “spring”, which is used in the Indian subcontinent, where it is the spring harvest (also known as the “winter crop”).

Zaid Crop Season:

  • In the Indian sub-continent, the crops grown on irrigated lands which do not have to wait for monsoons, in the short duration between Rabi and Kharif crop season, mainly from March to June are called Zaid crops.
  • Zaid crops are grown mainly in the summer season during a period called the “Zayad crop season.”
  • Zaid crops require warm dry weather for major growth period and longer day length for flowering.
  • The main produce are seasonal fruits and vegetables like Water melon, cucumber, muskmelon, sunflower, sugarcane, Bitter gourd, Pumpkin.

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Types of Soils in India:

Soils are classified on the basis of texture, colour, moisture etc. The major Soils in India are:

  • Alluvial Soil
  • Red and yellow Soil
  • Laterite Soil
  • Saline Soil
  • Forest Soil
  • Black Soil
  • Arid Soil
  • Peaty Soil

Alluvial Soil:

  • Alluvial soils are soils deposited by running water and are often located in existing floodplains.
  • Alluvial soil as a whole is very fertile as they contain adequate proportion of Potash, Lime and Phosphoric acid.
  • Silk, clay, gravel and sand the main constituents of alluvial soil.
  • It is commonly found in riverbeds and flood plains of Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.
  • It is predominantly found in the valleys of Narmada, along Mahanadi, Tapti, Cauvery and Godavari, etc.

Red and yellow Soil:

  • Red soil is a type of soil that develops in a warm, temperate, moist climate having thin organic layer.
  • Yellow or red soil indicates the presence of oxidized ferric iron oxides. Dark brown or black color in soil indicates that the soil has high organic matter content.
  • Major yield is obtained from these soils by growing crops like rice, sugar cane, wheat and pulses.
  • They are very well suited for dry farming and they can produce excellent crops like cotton, jowar, linseed, fruits, millets and potatoes.
  • Red soils form the third largest group of soils in India.
  • It develops in the areas of low rainfall especially in Eastern and Southern Deccan and also found mainly in almost whole of Tamil Nadu, South-eastern Karnataka, North-eastern and South-eastern Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand the major parts of Orissa, and the Hills and Plateaus of North-east India.

Laterite Soil:

  • Laterite is a soil and rock type rich in iron and aluminium, and is commonly considered to have formed in hot and wet tropical areas.
  • Shrubs and bulbs such as Tulips, Tree mallow, Sun roses, Hibiscus. Vegetable root crops like carrots, parsnips and potatoes favour sandy soils. Lettuce, strawberries, peppers, corn, squash, zucchini, collard greens and tomatoes are grown
  • Laterite soils in India are found in the Eastern Ghat of Orissa, the Southern parts of Western Ghat, Malabar Coastal plains and Ratnagiri of Maharashtra and some part of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Meghalaya, western part of West Bengal.

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Saline Soil:

In saline soils, the presence of salt in the soils reduces the availability of water to plants and, at high enough concentrations, can kill them. So these soils are unfit for agriculture.

Forest Soil:

  • Forest soils formed where it is not too hot, and not too cold.
  • The type of soil that forms depends on what type of vegetation grows.
  • Soils that formed under deciduous forests are very fertile and productive agricultural lands because of the decomposing leaves at the soil surface.
  • However, soils formed under pine trees are usually more acidic and sandy, and are less suited to growing crops.
  • Forests are very important, as they store a great deal of carbon in the leaves, trees, and soil, which is why it is important to protect the forests.

Black Soil:

  • These soils are made up of volcanic rocks and lava-flow.
  • It is concentrated over Deccan Lava Tract which includes parts of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
  • Typical characteristics of this black soil are swelling (during wet period) and shrinkage (dry period).
  • The Black soil is known as self-ploughing soil.
  • The black soils are also called regur (from the Telugu word Reguda) and black cotton soils because cotton is the most important crop grown on these soils.

Arid Soils:

  • The Arid Soils are also called Desert Soils.
  • The soils of Rajasthan, Haryana and the South Punjab are sandy. In the absence of sufficient wash by rain water soils have become saline and rather unfit for cultivation.
  • In spite of that cultivation can be carried on with the help of modern irrigation. Wheat, bajra, groundnut, etc. can be grown in this soil.

Peaty Soil/ Marshy Soil:

  • Peat is a type of soil made up of waterlogged partially-decomposed plant material.
  • Growth of vegetation is very less.
  • A large quantity of dead organic matter which makes the soil alkaline.
  • Heavy soil with black colour.

Major Food Crops in India:

In India food crops are classified into four categories:

  1. Food Crops (Rice, Wheat, Maize, Millets and Pulses etc.)
  2. Cash Crops (Sugarcane, Tobacco, Cotton, Jute and Oilseeds etc.)
  3. Plantation Crops (Coffee, Coconut, Tea, and Rubber etc.)
  4. Horticulture crops (Fruits and Vegetables)

Rice:

  • Rice production in India is an important part of the national economy.
  • India is one of the world’s largest producers of rice and brown rice, accounting for 20% of all world rice production.
  • Rice is predominantly a Kharif or crop.
  • Rice is produced in almost all states.
  • Rice is India’s pre-eminent crop, and is the staple food of the people of the eastern and southern parts of the country.
  • Top three producer states are West Bengal, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
  • China is the leading producer of Rice in the world followed by India.
  • The National Rice Research Institute is situated near Bidyadharpur village on the Cuttack-Paradip Road, Odisha, India.

Wheat:

  • Wheat is the second most important crop of India after Rice.
  • It’s a Rabi Crop. It is the staple food in north and north western India.
  • The most suitable soil for cultivation of wheat is well drained fertile loamy soil and clayey soil (Alluvial Soil).
  • Top three states producing Wheat are Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.
  • China is the leading producer of Wheat in the world followed by India.
  • Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research is located in Karnal, India.

Maize:

  • Maize is one of the most versatile emerging crops having wider adaptability under varied agro-climatic conditions.
  • Globally, maize is known as queen of cereals because it has the highest genetic yield potential among the cereals.
  • The United States of America (USA) is the largest producer of maize.
  • In India, maize is the third most important food crops after rice and wheat is cultivated mainly during Kharif season.
  • Maize can be grown successfully in variety of soils ranging from loamy sand to clay loam.
  • Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan are the leading producers.
  • Indian Institute of Maize Research is located in Ludhiana, Punjab.

Millets:

  • Millets are ancient Super grains the reservoirs of nutrition for a better health.
  • These crops are adapted to wide range of temperatures, moisture-regimes and input conditions.
  • Millets (great millet – Sorghum, pearl millet -Bajara, Finger millet – Ragi, Foxtail millet, little millet, Proso millet, Barnyard millet and Kodo millet) are hardy and grow well in dry zones as rain-fed crops, under marginal conditions of soil fertility and moisture and are stable yielders.
  • Tamil Nadu is the top producer of Millets. India tops the table in the Millet production in the world.
  • Indian Institute of Millets Research is located in Hyderabad, India.

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Pulses:

  • India is the largest producer, largest consumer and the largest importer of pulses in the world.
  • India primarily produces Bengal gram (chickpeas), red gram (tur), lentil (masur), green gram (mung) and black gram (urad).
  • Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka are the top five pulses producing States.
  • Indian Institute of Pulses Research is located in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

Cotton:

  • India is the largest producer of cotton in the world accounting for about 26% of the world cotton production.
  • Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana are the leading producers of cotton in India.
  • Tropical climate is suitable for cotton production.
  • It is mostly grown in Kharif season.
  • Central Institute for Cotton Researchis located in Nagpur, India.

Sugarcane:

  • India is the second largest sugarcane producing country after Brazil.
  • Largest sugarcane producing state of India is Uttar Pradesh.
  • It is mostly grown in Kharif season.
  • In India, sugarcane is produced in both tropical and subtropical regions.
  • Indian Institute of Sugarcane Research is located in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Jute:

  • The cultivation of jute in India is mainly confined to the eastern region of the country
  • Jute cultivation is dependent on the climate, season, and soil. Almost 85% of the world’s jute cultivation is concentrated in the Ganges Delta.
  • India is the world’s largest producer of raw jute and jute goods, contributing to over 50 percent and 40 percent respectively of global production.
  • Jute crop requires humid climate and minimum rainfall required for jute cultivation.
  • New grey  alluvial  soil of  good  depth receiving  silt  from  annual  floods is most suitable  for  jute
  • Indian Jute Industries’ Research Association is located in Kolkata, West Bengal.

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Tea:

  • India is the second largest producer of tea in the world after China, including the famous Assam tea and Darjeeling tea.
  • Assam is the leading producer of Tea in India. Tea is also the ‘State Drink’ of Assam.
  • India consumes about 70% of its Tea. Despite the consumption, India is also the largest exporter of tea after China.
  • Commercial production of tea began after the conquest of large areas by the British East India Company, at which point large tracts of land were converted for mass tea production
  • Tea Board of India is located in Kolkata, India.
  • The Tocklai Tea Research Institute was established in 1911, at a site near the River Tocklai in Jorhat, Assam.

Coffee:

  • Coffee production in India is dominated in the hill tracts of South Indian states, with the state of Karnataka followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • Indian coffee is said to be the finest coffee grown in the shade rather than direct sunlight anywhere in the world.
  • Brazil is the largest producer of Coffee in the world.
  • The Central Coffee Research Institute is located in Chickmagalur, Karnataka.

Spices:

  • A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food.
  • Some of the spices are Cardamom, Clove, Cassia bark, Black pepper, Cumin, Coriander, Nutmeg and mace, Mustard seeds, Fenugreek, Turmeric, Saffron, Fennel seeds, Black Salt.
  • Most of the spices are grown in Southern states of India.
  • The Indian Institute of Spices Research in Kozhikode, Kerala, is devoted exclusively to researching all aspects of spice crops.
  • India (Kerala) is the largest producer of Spices in the world followed by Bangladesh.

Tobacco:

  • India is the 3rd largest producer of tobacco in the world.
  • It is grown in warm climates with rich, well-drained soil.
  • The tobacco is grown in only three States in India (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana).
  • Central Tobacco Research Institute is located in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Andhra Pradesh is the top producer of tobacco in India.
  • China, India and Brazil were rated among the leading producers worldwide, followed by the United States.

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As you have gone through our Crop Seasons and Soils in India – Agriculture in India PDF, also download our List of Lakes in India PDF.

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