Kachchh and part of Kathiawar

Desert and saline soils

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Maize-Green manure


3. Deccan plateau (hot-arid)

Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka

Red and black soils

Pigeon pea + sorghum/ groundnut cotton-millet-sorghum

4. Northern plains and central highlands (semi-arid) Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan

Alluvium derived soils

Maize-green manure



5. Central highlands Gujarat plains Kathiawar penisula (hot semi-arid)

Medium deep black soils




6. Deccan plateau (hot-semi-arid)

Shallow and Medium black soils

Pearl millet-potato-cotton Cotton-millet-sorghum,

Deccan plateau and Eastern ghats (hot- semi-rid)

Red and black soils

Sorghum-safflower cotton-millet Pigeon pea-sunflower

8. Eastern ghats, Tamil Nadu uplands and Deccan plateau (hot semi-arid)

Red loamy soils

Rice-Rice-pulses cotton-groundnut Groundnut-sorghum

9. Northern plain (hot sub humid)

Alluvium derived soil

Rice-wheat, Maize-wheat, Maize-mustard-sugarcane

10. Central High lands (hot sub-humid)

Black and red soils

Sorghum-wheat Maize- wheat

11. Eastern plateau (hot sub-humid) soils

Red and yellow soils

Rice-wheat-green manure

Rice-pigeon pea

12. Eastern plateau and Eastern ghats (hot sub-humid)

Red and lateritic soils


Groundnut-sun flower

13. Eastern plain (hot sub-humid)

Alluvium derived soil

Rice-wheat, Rice-lentil

Rice-chickpea, jute-rice

14. Western Himalayas (warm sub-humid)

Brown, forest and podzoilic soils

Maize-wheat, finger millet-rice-mustard

15. Bengal and Assam plains (hot sub humid)

Alluvium derived soils



16. Eastern Himalayas (warm humid)

Brown and red hill soils

Rice-rice, rice-wheat jute-rice

17. North-eastern Hills (warm humid)

Red and lateritic soils

Rice-rice, rice-wheat jute-rice

18. Eastern coastal plains (hot sub humid to semiarid)

Coastal alluvium

Rice-rice, Rice-groundnut, Jute-rice

19. Western ghats and coastal plains (hot humid)

Red lateritic alluvium derived soils

Rice-rice, Rice-sorghum, Plantation crops

20. Islands (hot humid)

Red loamy and sandy soils

Rice-rice, Plantation crops

Cropping Patterns in India:

Rice Based Cropping Patterns:

i. Found in heavy rainfall areas (or) supplemental irrigation available areas.

ii. 46.4% areas in Monsoon belt – U.P., Bihar, M.P.

iii. 53.6% area in Multi-season belt – Assam, WB, Orissa, A.P., T.N, Kerala, Karnataka.

iv. 30 – rice based cropping patterns in India.

v. Bihar, WB, Orissa – summer rice is emerging second crop competing jute.

vi. Introduction of Rice-non-traditional areas – Punjab Haryana, Western U.P. Rice – wheat due to introduction of short duration of Rice has replaced maize in Punjab.

Wheat Based Cropping Patterns:

i. 19 – Wheat based cropping patterns in India.

ii. Introduction of photoinsensitive varieties grow wheat from himalayas to kanyakumari.

iii. Traditional areas – North West India Wheat – wheat rotation replaced by Moong – wheat; redgram – wheat.

Reasons: Availability of short duration varieties of moong and redgram.

Kharif Sorghum based Cropping Patterns:

i. Kharif sorghum – 11 m. ha Maharashtra, M.P., Karnataka, Gujarat.

ii. 17 major cropping patterns.

iii. Maharastra – Cotton, Pulses, Groundnut and small millets.are alternatives.

iv. M.P. – Cotton, Pulses and small millets – are alternatives.

v. Rajasthan – Wheat, Cotton, bajra, Maize are alternatives.

vi. A.P. – Cotton, Pulses, Groundnut are alternatives.

Rabi sorghum based Cropping Patterns:

i. 5 m. ha – Maharashtra, A.P, Karnataka

ii. 13 cropping patterns – Maximum in Maharashtra with bajra, Pulses, Oilseeds are alternatives.

Pearl millet based Cropping Patterns:

i. Arid and semiarid tropics – 12 m. ha – Rajasthan and Gujarat.

ii. 20 major cropping patterns.

iii. Along with pulses, Groundnut, oilseeds, kharif sorghum – Rajasthan.

iv. Cotton, tobacco – Gujarat.

Maize based Cropping Patterns:

i. 6 m. ha – U.P, Bihar, Rajasthan, M.P. and Punjab.

ii. 12 cropping patterns.

iii. U.P, Bihar > Rice (Kharif) – Wheat (rabi).

Ragi based Cropping Patterns:

i. 2.5 m. ha – Karnataka, T.N., A.P. Gujarat, Maharashtra, Hilly areas of U.P., H.P.

ii. Bajra, Sorghum, Maize, Pulses, and Oilseeds are alternative.

Cotton based Cropping Patterns:

i. 7.5 m. ha – Maharashtra, Gujarat, M.P.

ii. 16 cropping patterns.

iii. Cultivation extended – new command areas in Karnataka

iv. New short duration varieties – possible two crops of cotton in year.

Gram and other Pulses based Cropping Patterns:

i. Short duration varieties of green gram, Bengal gram, red gram, Cowpea made them suitable multiple cropping. eg. Rice – Wheat, Moong (summer) Moong – Wheat Redgram – Wheat

ii. Short duration Redgram – grown in rabi season – a non-traditional season in Karnataka, A.P. Tamilnadu.

Groundnut based Cropping Patterns:

i. 70 m. ha – Gujarat, A.P., T.N., Karnataka

ii. Grown mainly in rainfed conditions – 9 cropping patterns.

iii. Kharif sorghum, cotton, Pulses are alternative – A.P. and T.N.

iv. Kharif and rabi sorghum and small millets are alternative – Maharashtra.

v. Sorghum, Cotton, tobacco sugarcane – Karnataka.

Cropping System:

It represents cropping patterns used on farm and their interaction with farm resources, farm enterprises and available technology to determine the farm makeup.

Cropping Pattern:

Proportion of area under various crops at a point of time in a unit area.

Types of Cropping Systems:

1. Monocropping (or) Monoculture

Growing of only one crop on a piece of land year after year.


(i) Climatological and socio economic conditions.

(ii) Specilization of farmer growing particular crop.

2. Multiple Cropping:

i. Intensification of cropping for both time and space dimensions.

ii. Growing two (or) more crops on the same piece of land in one calendar year.


(a) Intercropping:

i. Growing two (or) more dissimilar crops simultaneously on the same piece of land in a definite row pattern.

ii. Cropping intensity in space dimension is achieved.

Intercropping is of two types —

(i) Additive Series

(ii) Replacement Series

(i) Additive Series:

a. One crop sown as a base crop.

b. Another crop introduced into base crop by adjusting (or) changing crop geometry.

(ii) Replacement Series:

a. Both the crops are component crops.

Requirements – Successful Intercropping:

(i) The time of peak nutrients demands of component crops should not overlap. e.g. Maize + green gram. Green gram – peak demand period – around 35 DAS. (Days after sowing)

Maize – Peak demand period – around 50 DAS.

(ii) Competition for light (solar radiation), nutrients, air space are minimum among component crops.

(iii) Complementary should exist between the component crops.

On the basis of above knowledge, suitable combinations are.

Principal Crop



Wheat, Cowpea, Soybean, Moong, Sunflower


Cowpea, Soybean, Moong, Urd, Arhar


Cowpea, Soybean, Urd, Arhar. Castor


Cowpea, Soybean, Urd


Soybean, groundnut


Wheat, radish


(i) To raise productivity per unit area.

(ii) Better utilization of growth resources – nutrient, water, light, air.

(iii) Additional income from component crop.

(iv) Quick growing component crops, suppress harmful weeds by thriving in the interspace of base crop.

(v) Gainful utilization of labour – increasing more man days employment potential.

(vi) Less incidence of insect pests and disease attack.

(vii) Less erosion losses.


(i) Fertilizer management is difficult because nutrients requirements is different for different crops.

(ii) Difficult in harvest – different seeding time for different crops.

(iii) Certain circumstances (e.g. allelopathy) – one suppress growth for another crop.

(b) Mixed Cropping:

i. Growing two or more dissimilar crops simultaneously intermingled without any row pattern.

(c) Sequential Cropping:

i. Growing of two or more crops in sequence on the same piece of land in a farming year.

ii. Succeeding crop is planted after preceding crop harvested

(d) Relay Cropping:

i. Planting of succeeding crop before the harvest of preceding crop.

(e) Ratoon Cropping (or) ratooning:

i. To raising a crop with regrowth coming out of roots or stalks after harvest of the crop. e.g. – sugarcane, fodder, grasses.

(f) Multistoried Cropping/Multilevel Cropping:

i. System of growing crops of different heights together at the same time on same piece of land.

ii. Using land, water, space most efficiently or economically.

E.g. Coconut + pepper + grasses,

Coffee + banana + arhar.

3. Crop Rotation::

i. Recurrent succession of crops on the same piece of land either in a year (or) longer period of time, to get maximum profit with least investment and without impairing soil fertility.

Principles for Successful Rotation —

i Crop with tap roots and fibrous root system.

ii. Leguminous crops with non-leguminous crop.

iii. Selection of a crop based on demand of people of that area.

iv. Selection of crop should be problem based.

(a) Sloping lands – alternate cropping of erosion promoting crops with erosion resisting crops.

(b) Dryland (or) partially irrigated area – crops which can tolerate drought e.g. oilseeds and pulses.

(c) Low lying (or) flood prone area – crops which can tolerate water stagnation e.g. Rice, jute.


i. Proper utilization of all the resources and inputs.

ii. Helps in controlling insect pests, diseases and weeds.

iii. Agricultural operation done timely for all crops.

iv. Soil fertility is maintained.

v. Get better price for produce.

Impact of Cropping Patterns:

Factors responsible for Changes in Cropping Patterns:

i. Development of high yielding and short duration varieties in main crops.

ii. Development of production technology to grow them.

iii. Incentives and innovations provided by central and state govts.

iv. Spread of irrigation.

v. Development of fertilizer production and technology.

vi. Govt’s special programmes – enhancing production of particular crop.

vii. Changes in the socio-economic conditions of the people and rapid industrialisation in the country.

viii. Transformation of subsistence agriculture into market oriented economy.

Negative impacts of – Changes in Cropping Patterns:

i. Introduction of HYV and short duration varieties. Consequently led to intensive cropping and resulted in decline in fertility and deficiency of Zn, Mn in Punjab due to introduction of paddy-wheat rotation cropping.

ii. Cause more incidence of insect pests and weeds.

iii. More use of fertilizers – environmental pollution and salinity.

iv. Increased use of irrigation water-salinity and water logging.

v. Indiscriminate use of pesticides – adverse effects on environment and microorganisms.

vi. Resistance of insects and pathogens towards.

vii. HYV – rice, wheat pushed pulses and oilseeds to marginal areas.