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Cropping System Concepts (Agronomy) for Agri Exams

Cropping System Concepts 

  • Multiple Cropping: “The growing of more than one crop on the same land in one year”.

  • Types of multiple cropping:

(a) Intercropping

(b) Mixed cropping

(c) Sequential/non-overlapped cropping

(d) Relay/overlapped cropping

  • Intercropping :

    • Growing of two or more crops simultaneously in alternate rows or otherwise in the same area, where there is significant amount of inter crop competition

  • Advantages of Inter Cropping:

1. Greater stability of yield over different seasons,

2. Better use of growth resources

  • Disadvantages of Intercropping:

1. Yield decrease because of adverse competition effect

2. Allopathic effect

3. Creates obstruction in the free use of machines

  • Mixed cropping:

    • Cultivation of two or more than two crops simultaneously, on the same piece of land without any definite row pattern or fixed ratio.

    • Scientific study of mixed cropping was firstly done by La-Flitze in 1929.

    • Mixed cropping is commonly practiced in Dry land areas of India.

  • Sequential/non-overlapped cropping:

    • Growing of two or more crops in quick succession on the same piece of land in a farming year. e.g. Just after the harvest of Maize Potato is sown and just after digging of potato. Chili is sown.

  • Relay/overlapped cropping:

    • Relay planting is interring planting or inter sowing of seeds/seedlings of the succeeding crop before harvesting the preceding/maturing crop.

    • Generally 2nd crop is planted after the first crop has reach its reproductive stage of growth 

    • Example: Potato is planted before the harvest of Maize and Radish is sown before harvesting of Potato.

    • Paira (Bihar & WB) and Utera (MP) cropping are also referred as an example of relay cropping. 

    • Paira/Utera cropping means sowing of Lathyrus or Lentil before the harvest of rice in lowland area with an objective to use the residual moisture of rice field.

  • Multi-storeyed/Multitired/Multilevel Cropping:

    • Two or more than two crops of different heights cultivated simultaneously on the same field. It is generally practiced in Karnataka and Kerala e.g. Sugarcane + Mustard + Onion/Potato.

  • Parallel Cropping:

    • Such crops have different growth habits and zero competition to each other. e.g. Urd/Moong + Maize

  • Companion Cropping:

    • When the production of both inters crops is equal to that of its solid planting. e.g. Mustard/Potato/Onion + Sugarcane

  • Synergetic Cropping:

    • In this type of cropping, yield of both the crops are higher than their pure crops on unit area e.g. Sugarcane + Potato

(Source : Principles of Agronomy by Reddy and Reddy)

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