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Field Crops

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This OER will enable you to:

  • Select proper crop type suitable for your soil and climate
  • Cultivate selected field crop by performing various cultivation practices


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Vitthal’s father tells his son that their soil is fertile, rich in organic matter. Climate of the land area is warm and humid. While enjoyingdiwali vacation, Vitthal studies these things and finalizes Maize as the crop for cultivation.


After completing this OER check Vitthal’s crop selection is correct or not. Refer the Table-1 towards the end and note down your observation.

Vitthal’s friend visits him. Vitthal tells him about his ‘cultivation project’.
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Classification of field crops:

Field crops may be classified in more than one way. It may be on the basis of:

  • The climate in which they are grown
  • The season in which grown
  • Life of the crop plant
  • Source of water
  • Root system of the crop plant
  • Economic importance of the crop
  • Botanical or morphological similarity in crops.

Classification on the basis of climate

  • Tropical crops – rice, sugarcane etc.
  • Temperate crops – wheat, gram etc.

Classification on the basis of season

  • Kharif Crops – Cropswhich are grown in monsoon months (from June to October)
 e.g. Rice, Jowar,Bajra, Groundnut.
  • Rabi Crops – Cropswhich are grown in winter season (from October to March)
 e.g. Wheat, gram, safflower etc.
  • Summer Crops – Cropswhich are grown in summer (from March to June)
 e.g. summer groundnut, water melon, cucumber etc.

Classification on the basis of Botanical or morphological similarity in crops

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Classification on the basis of Economic Importance

Cereals: Jowar, Maize, Ragi, Paddy, Wheat etc. Pulses: Greengram, redgram, blackgram etc. Legumes: Cowpea, Field bean Oilseeds: Sunflower, sesame, groundnut etc. Fiber crops: Cotton, Jute, Sugarcane etc.

Vitthal starts working in the field from following week.

Preparing land for cultivation:

First, he measures the piece of land that is allotted to him for project. It is 10m × 10min dimensions. These land measurements will be very useful for deciding the methods of sowing, seed rate calculation, manure/fertilizer dose and even for irrigation.

Then, he follows all the ‘preparatory tillage’ practices. That means he prepares his land according to the type of crop he wants to cultivate and to the type of irrigation he is going to use. Vitthal has decided to cultivate Maize. So he ploughs the land and repeats the process 2 to 3 times for better results. He is going to use ‘ridges and furrows’ as his irrigation technique.

Fig. 1 Land PloughingField crops image-7.png Fig. 2 Ridges and furrows

Here, one should understand that, land preparation is different for different crops and different irrigation types. Now, Vitthal does examination of soil (Please refer OER on ‘Study of soil/Soil Testing’) and decides the dose of manures/fertilizers according to the table number 1.

Sowing seeds:

Since Vitthal has a small piece of land to cultivate, he decides to cultivate Maize as Fodder and not as grain. At this stage, he goes to the market and checks the varieties of Maize (fodder) available. This is very important to check the varieties available to you as new variety with different benefits keeps coming in the market. Couple of days later Vitthal talks to his father.

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Suppose this is your land (10m × 10m). Then, there should be 30cm distance between two rows and 15cm distance between two plants. It will look somewhat like the following figure:

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You need to keep sowing the seed on each intersection.

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Tools.gif Activity-2:

  1. Calculate how many seeds thatyou need for the entire area of Vitthal’s land.
  2. You cannot buy seeds by unit. It is always by weight. So, weigh 100gm of seeds and count how many seeds come in 100gm. Now, calculate the weight of the seeds Vitthal will need for his land.

Method of sowing mainly depends on the area of your land and the type of your crop. In Vitthal’s case, since his plot is small, he goes for ‘Dibbing’.

Fig. 3 – Sowing seeds (Dibbing technique)

After care of the crop

Vitthal’s calculation for ‘seed rate’ and his sowing were successful. Now he has to take ‘after care’ of his crop. One day…

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Selection of crops depends on climatic conditions, needs of the farmer, labour available for caring the crop, availability of water, market demands etc.

Inkpot.png Assignments

  1. Field visit to a nearby farm where drip irrigation system is installed.
  2. Visit to an ‘agricultural’ shop to collect quotations for different types of irrigation systems for one Acre area.

Table-1 : Cereal Crops

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Table-2: Field Crops

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