Crop Production and Management

Same kinds of plants grown and cultivated at a place constitute a crop. In India, based on seasons crops can be broadly categorised into two types, rabi and kharif crops. In order to provide adequate food to the growing population, we need to adopt certain agricultural practices.

Agricultural practices involve: Preparation of soil, sowing of seeds, manuring, irrigation, weeding, crop harvesting and storage. Soil is prepared by ploughing (tilling) and levelling. Ploughing is done by plough, cultivator and hoe while, leveling is done by leveler. Sowing is the process of planting seeds and plays the key role in crop production. Before sowing, healthy and good quality seeds are selected. Traditionally farmers used the funnel shaped tool for sowing the seed. A seed drill is used for sowing seeds in the soil. Manures and fertilisers are used to supply nutrients to the soil. Some examples of fertilisers are: Urea, ammonium sulphate, super phosphate, potash, NPK.

The process of supplying water to the soil for proper growth of the crop plants in the field is called as irrigation. The sources of irrigation are: Wells, tube wells, ponds, lakes, rivers, dams and canals. Traditionally farmers used different methods to lift up the water from canals, lakes and wells. Some traditional ways are moat, chain pump, dekhli and rahat. Modern methods of irrigation are: Sprinkler system and drip system. The undesirable plants that may grow naturally along with the crop are called weeds. The process of removal of weeds is called weeding. Farmers kill weeds by using weedicides. Manual removal of weeds includes physical removal by uprooting or cutting them close to the ground, from time to time. Harvesting is the process of gathering or cutting mature crops from the fields. It either done manually by sickle or by a machine called harvester.

The process by which grains are separated from harvested crop is called threshing. The process of removing chaff from the grains is called winnowing. It is carried out with the help of a machine called ‘combine’. Storage of grains is done for longer use. Farmers store grains in jute bags or metallic bins. However, large scale storage of grains is done in silos and granaries. The grains must be protected from moisture, insects, rats and microorganisms.

They should be properly dried in the sun. Dried Neem leaves can also be used to protect the stored grains. Like plants, animals also provide us with different kinds of food. In coastal areas fish is a major part of diet. Animal husbandry is done for care and breeding of domestic animals at large scales.

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