Competitive Exams Agriculture Study Material: Major Crops

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  1. Rice:
    1. It is the staple food crop of a majority of the people in India.
    2. Our country is the second largest producer of rice in the world after China.
    3. It is a kharif crop
    4. It requires high temperature (above 25° C) ,
    5. and high humidity with annual rainfall above 100 cm.
    6. In the areas of less rainfall, it grows with the help of irrigation.
    7. Rice is grown in the plains of north and north-eastern India, coastal areas and the deltaic regions.
    8. Development of dense network of canal irrigation and tubewells have made it possible to grow rice in areas of less rainfall such as Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan.
  2. Maize:
    1. It is a crop which is used both as food and fodder.
    2. It is a kharif crop
    3. It requires temperature between 21° C to 27° C
    4. It grows well in old alluvial soil.
    5. In some states like Bihar maize is grown in rabi season also.
    6. Use of modern inputs such as HYV seeds, fertilisers and irrigation have contributed to the increasing production of maize.
    7. Major maize-producing states are Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  3. Wheat:
    1. This is the second most important cereal crop. It is the main food crop, in north and north-western part of the country.
    2. This rabi crop
    3. It requires a cool growing season and a bright sunshine at the time of ripening.
    4. It requires 50 to 75 cm of annual rainfall evenly-distributed over the growing season.
    5. There are two important wheat-growing zones in the country
      1. the Ganga-Satluj plains in the northwest
      2. black soil region of the Deccan.
    6. The major wheat-producing states are Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and parts of Madhya Pradesh.
  4. Pulses:
    1. India is the largest producer as well as the consumer of pulses in the world.
    2. These are the major source of protein in a vegetarian diet.
    3. Major pulses that are grown in India are tur (arhar) , urad, moong, masur, peas and gram.
    4. Pulses need less moisture and survive even in dry conditions.
    5. Being leguminous crops, all these crops except arhar help in restoring soil fertility by fixing nitrogen from the air. Therefore, these are mostly grown in rotation with other crops.
    6. Major pulse producing states in India are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  5. Millets:
    1. Jowar, bajra and ragi are the important millets grown in India. These are known as coarse grains, they have very high nutritional value. Ragi is very rich in iron, calcium, other micro nutrients and roughage.
      1. Jowar is the third most important food crop with respect to area and production.
      2. It is a rain-fed crop mostly grown in the moist areas which hardly needs irrigation.
      3. Maharashtra is the largest producer of jowar followed by Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
    2. Bajra
      1. Bajra grows well on sandy soils and shallow black soil.
      2. Rajasthan is the largest producer of bajra followed by Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
    3. Ragi
      1. Ragi is a crop of dry regions and grows well on red, black, sandy, loamy and shallow black soils.
      2. Karnataka is the largest producer of ragi followed by Tamil Nadu. Apart from these states, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Sikkim, Jharkhand and Arunachal Pradesh are also important for the production of ragi.