Cropping pattern and cropping system
Traditionally, increased food production has come from putting more land under cultivation. However, in large areas of the world, especially in Asia, all the land that can be economically cultivated is already in use. In future, most of the extra food needs must come from higher production from land already being farmed. A major share of this increase is likely to come from increasing the number of crops produced per year on a given land using improved crop cultivars. Such multiple cropping offers potential not only to increase food production but also decrease land degradation.
A system is defined as a set of components that are interrelated and interact among themselves. A cropping system refers to a set of crop systems, making up the cropping activities of a farm system.
The cropping system comprises all components required for the production of a particular crop and the interrelationships between them and an environment
In other words, a cropping system usually refers to a combination of crops in time and space. The combination in time occurs when crops occupy different growing period and combinations in space occur when crops are inter planted. When annual crops are considered, a cropping system usually means the combination of crops within a given year
In India, the cropping pattern follows two distinct seasons; Kharif season from July to October and Rabi season from October to March. The crops grown between March to June called Zaid. The crops are grown solo or mixed (mixed-cropping) or in a definite sequence (rotational cropping). The land may be occupied by one crop during one session (mono-cropping) or by two crops during one season (double- cropping) which may be grown in a year in a sequence.
- The yearly sequence and spatial arrangement of crops or of crops and fallow on a given area.
- The cropping pattern indicates the proportion of area under different crops at a point of time. Cropping activities go on all the year round in India provided water is availed for the crops
- The cropping patterns used on a farm and their interaction with farm resources, other farm enterprises, and available technology which determine their make up.
- Growing number of crops on the same piece of landduring the given period of time. The turnaround period between one crop and another is minimised through modified land preparation.
- It is possiblewhen the resources are available in plenty. Ex. Garden land cultivation.
- Cropping intensity is higher in intensive cropping system.
- Crop intensification technique includes intercropping, relay cropping, sequential cropping, ratoon cropping, etc. All such systems come under the general term multiple cropping.
Need for intensive cropping
- Cropping systems has to be evolved based on climate, soil and water availability for efficient use of available natural resources.
- The increase in population has put pressure on land to increase productivity per unit area, unit time and for unit resource used.
- This cropping system should provide enough food for the family, fodder for cattle and generate sufficient cash income for domestic and cultivation expenses.
Cropping intensity: Number of crops cultivated in a piece of land per annum is cropping intensity. In Punjab and Tamil Nadu, the cropping intensity is more than 100% (i.e. around 140-150%). In Rajasthan, the cropping intensity is less.
TYPES OF CROPPING SYSTEMS
- Mono-cropping or monoculture refers to growing of only one crop on a piece of land year after year.
- It may be due to climatologicaland socio-economic conditions or due to specialisation of a farmer in growing a particular crop, e.g., under rained conditions, groundnut or cotton or sorghum are grown year after year due to limitation of rainfall. In canal irrigated areas, under a waterlogged condition, rice crop is grown as it is not possible to grow any other crop.
- Growing two or more crops on the same piece of land in one calendar yearis known as multiple-cropping.
- It is the intensification of cropping in time and space dimensions, i.e., more number of crops within year and more number of crops on same piece of land any give period.
- It includes inter-cropping, mixed-cropping and sequence cropping.
- Double-croppingis a case where the land is occupied by two crops, which are grown in a year in sequence.
- Growing two or more crops simultaneouslyon the same field.
- Crop intensification is inboth time and space dimensions.
- There is intercrop competitionduring all or part of crop growth.
- Inter-cropping was originally practiced as aninsurance against crop failure under rained conditions. At present main objective of inter-cropping is higher productivity per unit area in addition to stability in production. Inter-cropping system utilizes resources efficiently and their productivity is increased.
FOR SUCCESSFUL INTER-CROPPING, THERE ARE CERTAIN IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS:
- The time of peak nutrient demands of component crops should not overlap.
- Competition for light should be minimum among the component crops.
- Complementarity should exist between the component crops.
- The differences in maturity of component crops should be at least 30 days.
Types of Intercropping
The degree of spatial and temporal overlap in the two crops can vary somewhat, but both requirements must be met for a cropping system to be an intercrop. Numerous types of intercropping, all of which vary the temporal and spatial mixture to some degree, have been identified.These are some of the more significant types:
- Mixed-cropping is growing of two or more crops simultaneously intermingled without an row pattern. It is a common practice in most of dry land tracts of India. Seeds of different crops are mixed in certain proportion and are sown. The objective is to meet the family requirement of cereals. pulses and vegetables.
- Also referred to as mixed cropping. Ex: Sorghum, pearl millet and cowpea are mixed and broadcasted in rainfed conditions.
- Growing two or more crops simultaneously where one or more crops are planted in rows. Often simply referred to as intercropping. Maize + greengram (1:1), Maize + blackgram (1:1), Groundnut + Rredgram (6:1)
- Thus, cropping intensity in space dimension is achieved
- Variations include alley cropping, where crops are grown in between rows of trees, and strip cropping, where multiple rows, or a strip, of one crop are alternated with multiple rows of another crop.
- Alley Cropping is planting rows of trees at wide spacings with a companion crop grownin the alleyways between the rows.
- Alley cropping can diversify farm income, improve crop production and provide protection and conservation benefits to crops.
- Common examples of alley cropping plantings include wheat, corn, soybeans or hay planted in between rows of black walnut or pecan trees.
- Growing two or more crops simultaneously in strips wide enough to permit independent cultivationbut narrow enough for the crops to interact agronomically. Groundnut + redgram (6:4) strip.
- Growing two or more crops simultaneously during the part of the life cycle of each.
- A second crop is planted after the first crop has reached its reproductive stage of growth, but, before it is ready for harvest. Often simply referred to as relay cropping. Rice- rice fallow pulse.
Advantages of intercropping
- Better use of growth resources including light, nutrients and water
- Suppression of weeds
- Yield stability; even if one crop fails due to unforeseen situations, another crop will yield and gives income
- Successful intercropping gives higher equivalent yields (yield of base crop + yield of intercrop), higher cropping intensity
- Reduced pest and disease incidences
- Improvement of soil health and agro-eco system
- Intercropping of compatible plants also encourages biodiversity, by providing a habitat for a variety of insects and soil organisms that would not be present in a single-crop environment. This in turn can help limit outbreaks of crop pests by increasing predator biodiversity.
- Additionally, reducing the homogeneity of the crop increases the barriers against biological dispersal of pest organisms through the crop.
Sequence cropping :
- Sequence cropping can be defined as growing of two or more crops in a sequence on same piece of land in a farming year. The succeeding crop is planted after the preceding crop has been harvested.
- Crop intensification is only in time dimension. There is no intercrop competition.
- Double, triple and quadruple cropping: Growing two, three and four crops, respectively, on the same land in a year in sequence. Ex. Double cropping: Rice: cotton; Triple cropping: Rice: rice: pulses; Quadruple cropping: Tomato: ridge gourd: Amaranthus greens: baby corn \
The various terms defined above bring out essentially two underlying principles, that of growing crops simultaneously in mixture, i.e., intercropping; and of growing individual crops in sequence, i.e., sequential cropping. The cropping system for a region or farm may comprise either or both of these two principles.
In addition to above systems, relay cropping and ratoon cropping are also in existence.
- Refers to planting of the succeeding crop before harvesting the preceding one.
- Relay intercropping is a kind of intercropping in which two or more crops grow simultaneously during part of the life cycle of each.
- A second crop is planted before the first crop matures; in other words,the second crop is planted in the same field as the first crop after the first has achieved reproductive maturity but before it has reached physiological maturity. This allows farmers to grow two crops in one season in places where the growing season is not long enough to accommodate two crops.
- Ratooning refers to raising a crop with re-growth coming out of roots or stalks after harvest of crops.
- Ratooning is a method of harvesting a crop which leaves the roots and the lower parts of the plant uncut to give the ratoon or the stubble crop.
- The main benefit of ratooning is that the crop matures earlier in the season. Ratooning can alsodecrease the cost of preparing the fieldand planting.
- This method cannot be used endlessly as the yield of the ratoon crop decreases after each cycle. Ratooning is most often used with crops which are known to give a steady yield for three years under most conditions.
Why Cropping Systems Differs?
- Both climatic factorsand resources of the farmers determine the cropping pattern on a farm.
- Though climate plays most vital part in crop selection, the area under crop is also influenced by economic consideration of farmer,namely irrigation water, cost of inputs and prices of the products.
- In any locality the prevalent cropping system is the Cumulative results of past and present decisions by individuals, communities or government or their agencies.
- A basic requisite for higher cropping intensity is the availability of watereither through precipitation or through irrigation.
- It is being increasingly realised that the land and water resources are not unlimited and the wise use of the same is imperative.This is especially so for the countries like India where the population pressure is continuously increasing.
- Integrated farming system seems to be the answer to the problem of scarcity of land resources. This will increases the income level and improve the nutrition standard of small-scale farmers with limited resources.
- Tropical countries like India are fortunate in thatthe temperature condition remain favourable practically throughout the year for growing crops. However, it is crucially dependent upon water supply through natural precipitation or irrigation facility.
- Multiple- cropping has been in practice in many parts of India since long. Similarly mixed cropping has been an ancient art in India. Mixed-cropping systems were adopted as an insurance against failure of crops due to seasonal conditions or due to attack of pests and diseases. In recent years it has been shown beyond doubt that there are many other advantages too.
- Researchers on multiple-cropping system, however, suggest that theresources of the farmers be given major emphasis so that technologically a mixed-cropping can be adopted.
The cropping pattern is in influenced by;
- Traditional social practicesand dietary
- The crops with practicablepest and disease control method and suitability with ecological
- The crops which are most profitable(or are high-yielding)
- The combination of crops that result in profit maximization and cost minimization.
Factors Affecting Cropping Pattern in India
The cropping pattern is highly influenced by climatic, personal, social, cultural and economic factors of the farmers. The major factors are
i) Size of the Land Holding
In India marginal and small farmers represents the majority of farming community. So the mono crop paddy has become predominant as it fulfils the household needs and perpetuates the subsistence agriculture with little scope for commercial Cop husbandry.
Majority of the farmers are ignorant of the scientific methods involved in mixed-cropping, mono cropping and other technological knowhow for practicing better
iii) Disease and pest
The cropping pattern also depends on the possibility of disease and pest infections.
iv) Ecological Suitability
The cropping pattern of a particular region is highly dependent on the ecological condition (temperature, rainfall, humidity, etc.).
V) Moisture Availability
The source of irrigation greatly determines the type of the cropping pattern to be practiced. For example , in low rainfall area, dry land farming is best possible way to profit maximisation.
vi) Financial Stability
The economic condition of the farmers also affects the cropping pattern. As the cash crops (for example, cotton) involve high capital investments, these are practised only in estate farming. The marginal section of the farms community adopts low cost crops.
DIVERSIFICATION OF CROPPING PATTERNS IN INDIA
The Cropping Patters in India underwent several changes with the advent of modern agricultural technology, especially during the period of the Green Revolution in the late sixties and early seventies. There is a continuous surge for diversified agriculture in terms of crops, primarily on economic considerations.
The crop pattern changes, however, are the outcome of the interactive effect of many factors which can be broadly categorized into the following five groups:
- Resource related factors
- covering irrigation, rainfall and soil fertility.
- Technology related factors
- covering not only seed, fertilizer, and water technologies but also those related to marketing, storage and processing.
- Household related factors
- covering food and fodder self-sufficiency requirement as well as investment capacity.
- Price related factors
- covering output and input prices as well as trade policies and other economic policies that affect these prices either directly or indirectly.
- Institutional and infrastructure related factors
- covering farm size and tenancy arrangements, research, extension and marketing systems and government regulatory policies.
These factors are not watertight but inter-related.
CHANGES IN THE CROPPING PATTERNS
- The trend in the land use pattern and cropping pattern over last 50 years in India has shown increasing use of land for the purpose of cultivation with slight variations.
- The change in land use pattern and cropping pattern is vastly affected by rapid urbanization. The higher cultivable area has been achieved by bringing large acreage of uncultivable land into cultivation.
- Indian agriculture isincreasingly getting influenced more and more by economic factors.
- This need not be surprising because irrigation expansion, infrastructure development, penetration of rural markets, development and spread of short duration and drought resistant crop technologies have all contributed to minimizing the role of non-economic factors in crop choice of even small farmers.
- The reform initiatives undertaken in the context of the ongoing agricultural liberalization and globalization policies are also going to further strengthen the role of price related economic incentives in determining crop composition both at the micro and macro levels.
- Such a changing economic environment will also ensure that government price and trade policies will become still more powerful instruments for directing area allocation decisions of farmers, aligning thereby the crop pattern changes in line with the changing demand-supply conditions.
- In a condition where agricultural growth results more from productivity improvement than from area expansion, the increasing role that price related economic incentives play in crop choice can also pave the way for the next stage of agricultural evolution where growth originates more and more from value-added production.
- The major change in cropping pattern that have been observed in India is a substantial area shift from cereals to non-cereals. Although cereals gained a marginal increase in area share in the first decade of the Green Revolution, their area and share declined gradually thereafter.While cereals and pulses have lost area, the major gainers of this area shift are the non-food grain crops especially oilseeds.
- As we consider the share of individual crops within cereals, although the share of cereals as a group has declined, the area share of rice has increasedcontinuously over all the four periods. Wheat, although having a declining area share until 1986/87, also gained in its share when the entire period is considered.
- Thus, the area loss of cereals can be attributed entirely to the declining area share of coarse cereals, especially sorghum, pearl millet, barely and small millets. It can be noted that even within coarse cereals, the area share of maize shows a marginal improvement over the years.
- Within oilseeds, the crops showing steady improvement in their area share are: rapeseed and mustard, soybean and sunflower. Among these three oilseeds gaining in area share, rapeseed and mustard are substantially grown as intercrops with wheat.
- But, the declining area share of crops – especially those with only a marginal change in their area share – need not necessarily imply a decline in the actual area under these crops. Since the Gross Cropped Area (GCA) is constantly increasing over time, partly through an expansion of net sown areas as in the initial stages of the Green Revolution and partly through increasing intensity of cropping mainly by irrigation expansion, the declining area share can coincide with an increase in absolute increase in the area under crops.
Emerging Problems in Cropping Patterns
Over the years the emerging scenario in the cropping patted points to the following observations.
- The dominance of cereal cropsin the foodgrains points to the povertyof people. It meets the demand of the low-income people, in whose case a large proportion of income is spent on cereals. Even pulses which are the source of protein for this class of people is not grown on a significant scale. Most of the farmers being marginal and small are the net purchaser of foodgrains and hardly can afford the high input cost for raising a successful non-food cashcrop.
- The predominance of foodgrains group together with the fact that a significant proportion of agricultural production is concentrated in small farms, leads one to conclude that much of the cultivation is for self consumption.
- The fact that large areas remains under foodgrains shows that land productivity has not increasedat par with technological possibilities,
- Despite significant changes in cropping pattern, the shift towards high valued commercial crops has been very small. The result is an insignificant impact on the growth of the crop output.
LONG-RUN EFFECTS OF CURRENT TREND
Cropping pattern presently in vogue in India is cereal biased and fails in assuring balanced food security. The cropping pattern does not depict a picture of diversified agriculture despite some commercialization and technological progress.
Other associated aspects of the present cropping pattern are increased use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, increase in water demand, and duplication of forest areas which are discussed below.
- Increase in Use of Fertilizers and Pesticide
Higher production of foodgrains has resulted from inorganic fertiliser and pesticides application. The higher chemical fertiliser and pesticide application has led to toxicity in feeds.
Area where pesticides use has been increasing vigorously has seen insurgency among the insects and pests, led to disturbance in bio-system.
- Increase in Water Demand
In the last fifty years, the net sown area has been increased from 118 to 142 million ha. The increase in net sown area and increase in cropping intensity in turn increased the demand for water sources for irrigation. This increased demand is causing depletion of water resources. Competing sectors are being deprived of required water as agriculture consumes as high as 70% of total water use. The intensive cropping pattern is always in need of higher irrigation supply. This in turn pushes for development of sources of irrigation. The higher requirement of water deplete the ground water level. Increased demand for irrigation in turn requires major, medium and minor irrigation projects, which are highly expensive. The construction of irrigation projects many times faces bureaucratic hurdles and opposition from local residents because irrigation projects cause various social and environmental problems.
- Depletion of Forest Areas
The present cropping pattern emphasised on bringing more and more land under agriculture thereby depleting the forestland. There has been an increase in the agricultural area through deforestation during the thirty year period 1950-81. The area under field crops rose from 118.7 mha to 142.9 mha by bringing an additional 24 mha under crop through deforestation of private and rural forests or older fruit orchards. The land use pattern has moved towards higher food production leaving the forestry neglected.
- Use of Hybrid & High Yielding Varieties
Increased use of hybrid & high yielding varieties have resulted in the extinction of local varieties which were known for higher nutritional levels. This has led to awareness on the importance of adopting natural and organic farming techniques. However, the scale in which such practice are operated needs to be enhanced in order to make a real dent into system. It must be noted that these very methods were also the ones which contributed to realisation of GR benefits. A balance between traditional practices and modern methods need to be established.
CURRENT CROPPING PATTERNS
Gradually new concepts on multiple-cropping have started coming in and now there has been some accumulation of useful scientific information. The information is based on analytical work on different crop combinations and sequential growth of the crops. In this respect, cultivated areas in the country can be broadly classified into three categories based on rainfall pattern:
- AREA WHERE ANNUAL RAINFALL IS ABOVE 1150 MM
Most of the areas in Assam, Kerala, Orissa and West Bengal can be included in the first category. Basic problems in these areas pertain to limited irrigation and poor drainage. Most of the farmers are engaged in rice cultivation.
- AREA WHERE RAINFALL RANGES FROM750-1150 MM
Large parts of Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh fall in the second category and occupy about one third of the total cultivated area in the country. In these areas there is large potential for creating minor irrigation facilities.
- AREA WHERE RAINFALL IS BELOW 750 MM
The third category also occupies nearly one third of the cultivated area, comprising parts of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. In these areas, unless major and medium irrigation facilities are provided, there is little hope for raising cropping intensity to a substantial extent.
It is clear that there are innumerable micro variations in the cropping patterns, which cannot be described in this note, some broad contours of farming emerge. The most important element of farming in India is the production of grains and the dominant food-chain is grain-man.
On this basis, the country may be divided broadly into five agricultural regions.
- The rice regionextending from the eastern part to include a very large part of the northeastern and the south-eastern India, with another strip along the western coast.
- The wheat region, occupying most of the northern, western and central India.
- The millet-sorghum region, comprising Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and the Deccan Plateau in the centre of the Indian Peninsula.
- The temperate Himalayan regionof Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and some adjoining areas. Here potatoes are as important as cereal crops (which are mainly maize and rice), and the tree-fruits form a large part of agricultural production.
- The plantation crops regionof Assam and the hills of southern India where good quality tea is produced.
There is an important production of high-quality coffee in the hills of the western peninsular India. Rubber is mostly grown in Kerala and parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. There are some large estates, but most of the growers would come under the category of small holders. Sugarcane, which in many countries is a plantation crop, is almost entirely grown by small holders in India.
There had been substantial investments in major irrigation works in the colonial days. The post-Independence era saw many multi-purpose irrigation works. Lately, interest in the medium and minor irrigation works has increased, especially after the drought of 1966. Thus, at present, an all-India irrigation potential of 59 mha has been created and is expected to increase up 110 m ha by 2025. Irrigation, especially the minor works, has provided a base for multiple-cropping.
The All-India Coordinated Crops-Improvement Projects run cooperatively by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the agricultural universities have generated short-season, photo-period-insensitive high-yielding varieties of various crops suitable for a high intensity of cropping.The adaptability of these varieties on the farmer’s fields has been demonstrated in the National Demonstration Programme spread all over the country.
The various developmental and the educative programmes, especially the High Yielding Varieties Programme, have also resulted in newer cropping patterns involving intensive cropping. The area of rice has increased in Punjab and Haryana. Similarly, wheat is now grown in West Bengal and to some extent in the southern states of the country. All these factors have led to the present cropping patterns, which are getting more and more intensive both in respect of the number of crops grown per year and in respect of the intensity of inputs utilized in the production of these crops.
Three important features of cropping pattern of India
- Predominance of food grains crops,
- Slight shift towards commercial crops, and
- Noticeable increase in some individual crops.
Taking the major crops into consideration we can present a broad picture in the Cropping pattern in India. The major pattern follows two distinct groups: Kharif (monsoon crops) and Rabi (post-monsoon crops). The kharif crop includes rice, sorghum, bajra, maize, ragi, groundnut, cotton, etc.
CONCEPT OF BASE CROP
The crop occupying the highest percentage of the sown area of the region is taken as the base crop. All other possible alternative crops which are sown in the region either as substitute for the base crop in the same season or as the crop which fit in with the rotation in the subsequent seasons, are considered as the pattern.
The Kharif Season Cropping Patterns
The kharif season cropping patted comprises mainly rice and non-rice-based crops.
a) Rice based cropping pattern- 30
Rice is the best crop in this category and 9% of the area in India comes under rice-based cropping pattern. Nearly 45% of the total rice area in India receives 30 cm per month of rainfall during at least two months (July-August) of the south western monsoon and much less during other months. In contrast to these parts, the easter and southern regions, comprising Assam, West Bengal, Coastal Orissa, Coastal Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala which receive 10-20 cm per month, also come under this cropping pattern. On the all India basis, about 30 rice-based cropping pattern have been identified in different states.
b) Kharif cereals other than the rice-based cropping pattern-
Maize, jowar, bajra form the main kharif cereals. Ragi and small milletscome next, these are grown in limited area. Maize is grown in high rainfall areas, jowar in medium rainfall areas and Bajra in low rainfall areas. The extent of the area under these crops during south westem monsoon season is: maize(5.6 ha), jowar (11 ha) and bajra 12.4 ha. Ragi is a kharif cereal (2.4mha) and is mainly concentrated in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andha Pradesh. These states account for more than 60% of the total area under this crop.
c) Maize-based cropping pattern- 12
The largest areas under kharif maize are : Uttar Pradesh(14 mha), Madhya Pradesh (0.58 mha) and Punjab (0.57 mha). In the four states namely Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and A.P, the area under maize ranges from 0.24 to 0.28 ha in each, whereas other states have much less area under it. On the all India basis, about 12 Maize based cropping pattern have been identified.
d) Kharif jowar-based cropping pattern- 17
The area under Kharif jowar in lndia is highest in Maharashtra (7.5 ha) closely followed by Madhya Pradesh 2.3 mha. In each of the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat, the area under this crop is between 1 and 1.4 ha. Johar is mainly grown in areas having rainfall range from 10 to 20 cm per month, least for 3 to 4 months of the southeastern monsoon. On the all India basis. 17 major cropping patterns have been identified under this category.
e) Bajra-based cropping pattern- 20
The area under bajra crop is about 12.4 mha. Rajasthan has about two-third of the total area. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh together have over 4.6 mha, constituting the remaining one-third area under the bajra crop. On all India basis 20 major cropping patterns have been identified with basra as base crop.
f) Groundnut based cropping pattern- 9
Groundnut is sown over an area of about 7.2 mha mostly in five groundnut producing states: Gujarat (24.4%) , Andhra Pradesh, (20.2%), Tamil Nadu (35.5%), Maharashtra (12.2%) and Karnataka (12%). Five other states, viz, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Orissa together have about 17.3% of the total area under groundnut as base crop. On the all-India level, about nine major groundnut based Cropping pattern have been identified.
g) Cotton-based cropping pattern- 16
Cotton is grown over 7.6 mha in India. Maharashtra shares 36%(2.8mha), follows by Gujarat with 21% (1.6 mha), Karnataka with 13% (1 mha) and Madhya Pradesh with 9%(.6mha) of the area.Together these four states account for about 80% of area under cotton. The other cotton growing states are Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana and Rajasthan. On the all India basis about 16 broad cotton-based cropping patterns have been identified.
Rabi-season Cropping Patterns
The major cropping patterns prevalent in India during the rabi season are: i) Wheat and gram based cropping pattern, and ii) jowar-based cropping pattern.
a) Wheat and gram based cropping patterns-19; 7
These two crops are grown under identical climate and can often be substituted for each other. On the all-India level, about 19 cropping patterns have been identified with wheat and 7 cropping patterns with gram. The core of the wheat region responsible for 70 per cent of the area and 76 per cent of production comprises Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradeshflanked by Rajasthan and Gujarat in the Western region and Bihar and West Bengal in the Eastern region.
b) Rabi-Jowar based cropping patterns-
On the all India level about 13 cropping patterns have been identified with the rabi jowar. Maharashtra has the largest number of these cropping patterns wherein starting with the exclusive rabi jowar, bajra, pulses, oilseeds and tobacco are grown as alternative crops.
A farming systems that are “capable of maintaining their productivity and usefulness to society indefinitely and must be resource-conserving, socially supportive, commercially competitive, and environmentally sound.”
Sustainable agriculture means, an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:
- satisfy human food and fiber needs;
- enhance environmental quality and the natural resource based upon which the agricultural economy depends;
- make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
- sustain the economic viability of farm operations;
- enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
- Production costis low
- Over all riskof the farmer is reduced
- Pollutionof water is avoided
- Very little or no pesticideresidue is ensured
- Ensures both short and long term profitability
- Since sustainable agriculture uses least quantum of inputs, naturally the output (yield) may also be less.
Major components of sustainable agricultural system
- Soil and water conservation to prevent degradation of soil productivity
- Efficient use of limited irrigation waterwithout leading to problems of soil salinity, alkalinity and high ground water table
- Crop rotationsthat mitigate weed, disease and insect problems, increase soil productivity and minimise soil erosion
- Integrated nutrient managementthat reduces the need for chemical fertilizers improves the soil health and minimise environmental pollution by conjunctive use of organics, in-organics and bio-fertilizers.
- Integrated pest managementthat reduces the need for agrochemicals by crop rotation, weather monitoring, use of resistant cultivar, planting time and biological pest control.
- Management system to control weedby preventive measures, tillage, timely inter cultivation and crop rotation to improve plant health.
INTEGRATED FARMING SYSTEM (IFS)
Integrated farming system is a holistic method of combining several enterprises like cropping system, dairying, piggery, poultry, fishery, bee keeping, etc in a harmonious way as to complement each other.
The objective is efficient resource utilisation and maximisation of profitin such a way so as to cause least damage to soil and environment.
Benefits of IFS
- Higher Productivity
- Balanced food
- Recycling reduces pollution
- Money round the year
- Employment generation
- Increase input efficiency
- Standard of living of the farmer increased
- Better utilisation of land, labour, time and resources