Rabi and Kharif Crops

Sep 20, 2022, 16:45 IST

Table of Content

What are Rabi Crops

The Arabic translation of Rabi is "spring." Rabi Crops are sown during winter in both the countries India and Pakistan and are also known as winter crops. The sowing season usually starts around November, and the crop is harvested between March and April, which is spring in the region. Since the monsoon ended in November in these countries, these crops are usually grown using irrigation or rainwater seeped into the ground.

The seeds are sown in early autumn, and the crop is harvested in spring. Their seeds are sown at the beginning of the winter season and harvested in late winter or early spring. Unseasonal showers in November and December are detrimental to the growth of Rabi crops.

Examples of Rabi Crops

Some of the examples of major rabi crops grown in India are barley, mustard, green peas, wheat, sunflower, coriander, cumin, etc.

  • Wheat

Much of the agricultural income for India comes from wheat production. It is the second largest producer of this crop in the world.

Since wheat requires low temperatures to grow, winter is the ideal season for growing this Rabi crop. The ideal temperature range should be around 140 to 180 C with rainfall of 50 cm to 90 cm. It is harvested in spring when the temperature is slightly higher.

In India, Uttar Pradesh is the largest wheat-producing state, closely followed by Punjab and Haryana.

  • Mustard

Mustard is another Rabi crop widely used in Indian households for cooking. It requires a dry and cool (subtropical) climate to grow, and the ideal temperature range is between 100 and 250 °C. With 60% of the total production in the country, Uttar Pradesh is again the largest mustard-producing state, followed by Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

What are Kharif Crops?

The word Kharif is also Arabic and means "autumn," Kharif Crops are harvested during this period (September or October). These crops are also monsoon crops because they are grown during this season. They grow well in rainy areas with hot and humid climates. Kharif crops are highly dependent on rainfall patterns. The amount and timing of rains are the two most important parameters that determine the production of Kharif crops. Their crops are harvested at the monsoon season ends, and their seeds are sown at the beginning of the monsoon season.

However, the Kharif season varies from state to state in India. The general sowing time starts from June to November, depending on the area. The sowing season varies with the arrival of the monsoon in different parts of India; for example, in southern states such as Kerala and Tamil Nadu, seeds are usually sown in late May, while in northern areas such as Punjab and Haryana, seeds are sown around June.

Examples of Kharif Crops?

  • Rice

Rice is a basic example of a Kharif crop. India produces 20% of the world's rice production, second only to China. It is the most important agricultural crop in the country and is a staple food in India. Rice grows in areas where it requires heavy rainfall and minimum rainfall of 100 cm, and an average temperature of 250 C. This crop is traditionally grown in waterlogged paddy fields. West Bengal state is the largest rice-producing state in India.

  • Maize

Maize is another important cereal in India. It requires a minimum rainfall of 50 cm to 75 cm and temperatures between 210 to 270 °C. The largest maize-producing state in India is Karnataka. Dent corn, flint, pod, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn are the six main varieties of corn. Five Sweet corn varieties are grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are used as animal feed; various types of corn for human consumption (such as grinding into cornmeal or meat, pressing into corn oil, and fermentation and distillation into alcoholic beverages such as bourbon whiskey) and chemical raw materials. Ethanol and other biofuels are also produced from corn.

Difference between Rabi Crop and Kharif Crop

Rabi Crops Kharif Crops
Rabi crops are sown at the monsoon end or the beginning of winter. They are also known as winter crops. Kharif crops are sown at the starting of the rainy season and are also known as monsoon crops.
Flowering requires a long day length. Flowering requires a short day length.
These crops need a warm climate for seed germination and a cold climate for growth. These crops require a water and hot weather to grow. They usually depend on rainfall.
Unseasonal rainfall can damage Rabi crops. Unseasonal rainfall can damage Rabi crops.
Because India winters are dry, Rabi crops require managed and minimal irrigation. Kharif crops require rainwater to grow requires longer nights
The harvesting months are March and April. These crops are harvested only in September and October
Examples: Mustard, wheat, cumin, coriander, etc. Eg: Rice, bajra, groundnut.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

Q1. Can Kharif crops be grown in rabi season?

Ans. Kharif crops require a lot of water. In the Kharif season, the rain provides this water, and the crops get enough water for their growth. So, Kharif crops cannot be grown in the rabi season as they require ample water for their growth.

Q2. What is Kharif crop and rabi crops?

Ans. Rabi crops are sown only in winter from October to December and harvested in summer from April to June. Eg, wheat, barley, peas, gram, and mustard. Kharif crops are only grown with the onset of monsoon in different parts of the country, and these are harvested only in September-October.

Q3. Give two examples of Kharif crops.

Ans. Rice, cotton, and maize are some of the major Kharif crops in India.

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