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Chapter 1 – Crop Production and Management

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:

Introduction

Have you ever wondered what the most important thing for your survival is? Yes, it is food. But where does food come from? How do we get enough food to feed the entire world population? 

All this is possible because of small farmers who toil hard and grow crops to feed us. The practice of growing crops and raising livestock is known as agriculture. In this article, we will learn about agricultural practices and management.

In agriculture, we define a crop as a plant product that is harvested and grown for profit. The production of crops depends on various factors such as climate, water availability, soil fertility, etc. There are a variety of crops grown across our country. 

These can be broadly divided into two cropping patterns:

  1. Kharif crops: The crops which are sown during the monsoon season at the end of May to early June and are harvested post the monsoon rains in October are called Kharif crops. Key Kharif crops include maize, paddy, cotton, etc. 
  2. Rabi crops: The crops which are sown during the winter season beginning October and harvested in the summer season, typically during April and May, are known as Rabi crops. Key Rabi crops include wheat, gram, pea, etc.
  1. Preparation of Soil: The first and most crucial step in agriculture is preparing the soil. In this step, the crusty soil surface is made softer for the seeding of crops. It also allows for easier penetration of air, nutrients, and water deep into the soil so that the plant roots can access them. This is done through Tilling, Ploughing, Harrowing, and Leveling.
  2. Sowing: Once the soil is prepared, the next step is to sow the seed. Depth, method, and times of sowing seed are crucial factors that decide the crop’s health. There are various methods to sow seeds such as –
    a) Seed dropping behind a plough – It is a traditional method of sowing seeds where seeds are dropped into the furrows ploughed in the field. However, it is a labour-intensive method of sowing seeds.
    b) Broadcasting – In this method, the seeds are scattered either manually or mechanically on the soil and then again covered with soil. In this method, the seed distribution is uneven.
    c) Dibbling – In this method, seeds are placed in the holes or pits made at definite distances and depths. It is done through Dibbler, and a conical instrument used to make holes in the seedbed.
    d) Drilling – In this method, the seed drilling machine is used to drop seeds into furrow-lines and then covered and compacted by soil.
    e) Transplanting – In this method, the seeds are first grown in nurseries and then transferred to the main field.
  3. Adding Manure and Fertilisers: Fertilisers and manures are chemicals that contain nutrients that plants need to grow. These chemicals help replenish the nutrients in the soil and increase its water retention capacity. Examples of fertilizers include nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The organic material, which is used to fertilize the soil, is called manure. It generally consists of the faeces and urine of domestic livestock.
  4. Irrigation: Just like humans, plants also need water for survival. The process of supplying water to plants by pipes, sprinklers, canals, rather than relying on rainfall alone is called Irrigation. Some of the ancient irrigation methods include – Moat (pulley-system), Chain pump, Dhekli, and Rahat(Lever system). However, a few new promising techniques have merged for irrigation these include – 
    • Sprinkler Irrigation: In this method, sprinklers are used to break water into small water drops before it reaches the ground, just like rainfall. Here water is distributed through a network of pipes to the sprinklers.
    • Drip Irrigation: This method can save water and nutrients as water is dripped directly to the roots. The method not only gives higher yields but also saves water, fertilisers, and nutrients necessary for plants.
  5. Weeding: Generally practised during the early crop stage, weeding is a method to remove unwanted plants that grow naturally along with the crops. These unwanted plants hinder other crops’ growth by utilizing space, air, nutrients, and sunlight supplied to the crops. Weeds can be controlled mechanically, manually using a khurpi, or using chemicals known as weedicides which are sprayed over the field to protect the plants.
  6. Harvesting crop production: The process of detaching the crop from the ground after the crop is matured is called harvesting. Modern farmers use harvesters to cut the crop. However, it can be done manually, too, with the help of a sickle. After this process, the grain is separated from the chaff by threshing or winnowing.
  7. Storage: After collecting the grains, the next important step is to clean and store the grain before being transported to markets. Storage is vital to protect the grain from rain, dampness, and insects and to ensure that they are usable for a longer period. Grains can be stored in jute bags or metallic bins. However, for bulk storage, silos and granaries are used.

Do you know that even animals provide us with food? Animal source foods are considered to be nutrient-rich and necessary for bone and heart health. 

The management and practice of breeding, farming, and caring for animals such as sheep, cow, hen, goat, bee, etc., for human profit, is called Animal Husbandry. It is also an important source of livelihood for farmers.

What is crop production?

Crop production is the practice of growing crops for use as food and fibre. Crop production requires a lot of water and depends highly on temperature, soil fertility, sunlight, etc.

What is crop management?

The agricultural practice of improving and maintaining the crop’s growth and yield is known as Crop management. This includes various steps such as soil preparation, sowing, adding fertilizers, irrigation, weeding, harvesting, and storage. 

Why is crop production management important?

We need food for sustenance, and we get food from crops grown on the farm. Hence, crop management is essential to cater to humans’ food needs and boost the profitability of farmers by selling good produce.

What is crop production for Class 8?

The process from sowing a seed to harvesting the crop covers the entire journey of crop production. The steps in crop production include – preparing the soil, sowing the seed, adding manure and fertilizers, irrigation, weeding, harvesting, and storage.

What are the types of crop production?

Crop production can be divided into four types:

  1. Food crops such as Wheat, Maize, Pulses, etc.
  2. Cash crops such as Sugarcane, Tobacco, Jute, etc.
  3. Plantation crops such as Coffee, Rubber, Coconut, etc.
  4. Horticulture crops vegetables, fruits, etc.                                                                                     

What is the principle of crop production?

The basic principles of crop production include:

  1. Preparing the soil
  2. Sowing
  3. Adding manure and fertilizers
  4. Irrigation
  5. Protection from weeds
  6. Harvesting
  7. Storage

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We hope you learned about crop production and management in detail. It is a long process and involves multiple steps.

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