GS Mains Model Question & Answer : Explain the types of Cropping Systems. Comment

 GS Mains Model Question & Answer : Explain the types of Cropping Systems. Comment

Q. Explain the types of Cropping Systems. Comment

Model Answer:

Explain the types of Cropping Systems.

Ans: 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 available for the crops.
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. We explain these cropping systems below.

Types of Cropping Systems

(a) Mono-cropping: Mono-cropping or monoculture refers to growing of only one crop on a piece of land year after year. It may be due to climatological and socioeconomic conditions or due to specialization of a farmer in growing a particular crop, e.g., under rainfed conditions, groundnut or cotton or sorghum are grown year after year due to limitation of rainfall. In canal irrigated areas, under waterlogged condition, rice crop is grown as it is not possible to grow any other crop.

(b) Multiple-cropping: Growing two or more crops on the same piece of land in one calendar year is known as multiple-cropping. It is intensification of cropping in time and space dimensions, i.e., more number of crops within a year and more number of crops on the same piece of land at any given period. It includes intercropping, mixed-cropping and sequence cropping. Double-cropping is a case where the land is occupied by two crops, which are grown in a year in sequence.

(c) Inter-cropping: Inter-cropping is growing of two or more crops simultaneously on the same piece of land with a definite row pattern. For example, growing setaria and redgram in 5:1 ratio.
Thus, cropping intensity in space dimension is achieved. Inter-cropping was originally practiced as an insurance against crop failure under rainfed conditions. At present, the main objective of inter-cropping is higher productivity per unit area in addition to stability in production. Intercropping system utilizes resources efficiently and their productivity is increased.

For successful inter-cropping, there are certain important requirements:

(1) The time of peak nutrient demands of component crops should not overlap.
(2) Competition for light should be minimum among the component crops.
(3) Complementarity should exist between the component crops.
(4) The differences in maturity of component crops should be at least 30 days.
(d) Mixed-cropping: Mixed-cropping is growing of two or more crops simultaneously intermingled without any row pattern. It is a common practice in most of dryland 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.
(e) Sequence-Cropping: Sequence cropping can be defined as growing of two or more crops in a sequence on the same piece of land in a farming year. Depending on the number of crops grown in a year it is called double, triple or quadruple cropping involving two, three and four crops respectively. In addition to the above systems, relay cropping and ratoon cropping are also in existence. Relay cropping refers to planting of the succeeding crop before harvesting the preceding crops. Ratoon cropping or ratooning refers to raising a crop with re-growth coming out of roots or stalks after harvest of the crop.
(f) Integrated Farming System: Integrated farming system is a holistic method of combining several enterprises like cropping system, diarying, piggery, poultry, fishery, bee-keeping, etc. in a harmonious way so as to complement each other.

The objective is efficient resource utilisation and maximization of profit in such a way so as to cause least damage to soil and environment.

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