Different crops grow in different seasons and different areas of the world based on climatic conditions and rainfall. Some have adapted themselves to grow in the harsh, dry, and arid areas, while some require plenty of rainfall to grow. Based on the seasons in which they grow crops can broadly be divided into Kharif and Rabi crops.
Kharif Crops vs Rabi Crops
The main difference between Kharif crops and Rabi crops is that Kharif crops are monsoon crops and are sown at the beginning of the monsoon season. Rabi crops are winter crops and are sown at the end of the monsoon and the beginning of the winter season.
The Kharif crops require a hot and humid climate with an ample amount of water. An example of the Kharif crop is rice. They are sensitive groups, and too little or too much rainfall can damage them, which means that the efforts of an entire year will go to waste.
Rabi crops are also known as winter crops since they are sown in November and require less rainfall. Rabi means spring season in Arabic. Some examples of Rabi crops are pulses, mustard, oats, barley, and wheat.
Comparison Table Between Kharif Crops and Rabi Crops
|Parameters of Comparison||Kharif Crops||Rabi Crops|
|Other Names||They are known as Monsoon crops/ Autumn Crops||They are known as Winter Crops|
|Harvesting Months||They are usually harvested between October and November||They usually have between April and May|
|Sowing Season||Usually sown in May with the onset of monsoon in India||Preferably sown in mid-November after the monsoon season is over|
|Rainfall||They are sensitive and can be damaged by too much or too little rain||They are generally not affected but can be spoiled by winter rain|
|Climatic Conditions||They grow well in hot weather and ample amount of water||They require mild weather for seed germination and comparatively colder weather for growth|
|Etymology||In Arabic, Kharif means autumn season||In Arabic, Ravi means spring season|
What are Kharif Crops?
These are crops that grow well in a hot climate with ample rainfall. They are sown at the onset of monsoon season in India and harvested between October and November. They are sensitive, and too much or too little rain at the wrong time can damage the crops. The efforts of a whole year go to waste.
Rice is, without contention, one of the most important Kharif crops of India. It is grown in areas with a high level of rainfall that is hot and humid. It is abundantly grown in the eastern and southern parts of India. It requires a temperature of about 16°C or 61° Fahrenheit and rainfall of about 59 to 79 inches. The field is flooded during the growth period.
India is the second most prominent producer of rice in the world and also has the largest area for its cultivation. The production of rice is low compare to wheat which is a Rabi crop, because the Green Revolution mostly resulted in an increase in the production of wheat.
Some examples of Kharif crops are rice, maize, Soyabean, cotton, bajra.
There are various methods of cultivation of Kharif crops. Some of them are as follows:
- Transplantation-It is the most common method and also yields the best results. A lot of work is required for this method. The seeds are first transplanted in the nursery before planting them in the main field. Once 3 to 4 leaves have appeared on the plant, they are shifted to the main field.
- Drilling method-In this method, one person makes a hole in the land, and the other person shows the seed. This method is exclusive to India. Oxes are the most common animals used.
- Broadcast-In this method, one person scatters the seeds over a large area. This method gives less yield and requires less labour.
- The Japanese method – This method is adopted for a superior variety of rice and has shown remarkable success.
What are Rabi Crops?
These crops grow well in the winter season and are sown in mid-November and harvested between April and May. They are harvested in the Spring season. They require less amount of water and a colder climate to grow well.
They require frequent irrigation as they are grown in areas with less rainfall. They require a longer day length to flower. Rabi is derived from the Arabic word, which means spring season. The word Rabi became famous during the Mughal Empire and has been widely used colloquially since then. Unseasonal rainfall is very harmful to the Rabi crops and can damage them.
Some examples of Rabi crops are pulses, mustard, oats, barley, wheat, gram, potato, linseed, sunflower, coriander, and cumin.
Wheat –It is the second most essential crop in India. India stands in second place when it comes to the production of wheat. Wheat requires 17 to 20°C temperature for proper growth, and rainfall should be between 20 to 100 cm.
Mustard – Mustard is one of the most widely used crops in Indian households. It is used in the form of both mustard seed and mustard oil. It requires a temperature between 10 to 25°C. About 60% of the total production of mustard happens in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
Main Differences Between Kharif Crops and Rabi Crops
- Kharif crops require hot weather, while Rabi crops require comparatively colder weather to grow
- Kharif crops are sown at the beginning of the monsoon season. On the other hand, Rabi crops are sown at the end of the monsoon season and starting of winter
- The flowering of the Kharif crop requires a shorter day, while flowering of the Rabi crop requires a longer day
- In Arabic, Kharif means autumn season while Rabi means spring season
- Kharif crops are harvested between October and November. On the other hand, Rabi crops are harvested between April and May.
Kharif or monsoon crops are grown in India at the beginning of the rainy season and harvested between October and November.
Some of the most important Kharif crops are rice, Soyabean, cotton, and maize. The Kharif crop season differs from state to state but, in general, is from June to September.
These crops grow well in the winter season and are sown in mid-November and harvested between April and May. They are harvested in the string. They require less amount of water and a colder climate to grow well.
India is an agricultural country, and does the Kharif and Rabi crop seasons are very important. A scarce monsoon season will result in lower crop production, which will increase the price of the crops. This means that a consumer will have to pay out more for buying the same amount of crops as before.
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