Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country

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Cropping pattern is the crops that is produced in a given piece of land, over the period depending on factors like seasonal changes, soil condition etc. India has diversities in relief, soils and climate that allows it to produce almost all the varieties of crops. Major crops in India can be categorized into the following categories:

1.Food crops : rice, wheat, maize, millets-jowar, bajra, ragi; pulses-gram, tur(arhar)
2.Cash crops : cotton,jute,sugarcane,tobacco,oilseed,groundnut,linseed,sesame,castorseed,rapeseed,mustard.
3.Plantation crops:tea,coffee,spices-petter,cardamom,chillies,ginger,turmeric,coconut,arecanut,and rubber.
4.Horticulture: fruits-apple,peach,pear,apricot,almond,strawberry,walnut,mango,banana,citrus fruits, vegetables.



1.plenty of water.
2.plenty of sunshine.
3.fertile alluvial soil.
  • grown almost throughout the year in hot and humid regions of eastern and southern parts of India where yearly two to three crops of rice is not uncommon. For example in the Cauvery delta (Tamil Nadu) paddy is cultivated thrice a year viz. Samba crop for 5 to 6 months again Kuruvai crop for 3 to 4 months again Thaladi crop for remaining period (Thaladi= the paddy grown in the field ploughed with the stumps of the previous harvest-this is for making the soil fertile ). Similarly other regions of eastern and southern part and some districts of WB , AP, Odisha & TN, paddy is grown throughout the year.
  • In north and hilly parts, where winter is very cold only one crop of paddy is possible . For example some districts in the Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Assam and a few districts in the western sides of south western states like Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  • In eastern Rajasthan, western Punjab and western Haryana paddy cultivation is done specially with the help of the irrigation.

Standard conditions for wheat growth:

1. Low to moderate temperature around
2. Moderate rainfall around
3. Fertile alluvial soil.
  • sown in beginning of winter and harvested in beginning of summer.
  • time of sowing/harvesting differs in different regions due to climatic variations.
  • in ripening stage there should be very less moisture in atmosphere and temperature should rise gradually.
  • sowing of wheat begins in the October-November and harvested in February-march in the areas of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. and in regions of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir sowing and harvesting is done in November/December and March/April respectively.


1. Rainfall : 50-100 cm and cannot be grown in areas with more than 100cm rain.
2. temperature varying from 21-27 degree Celsius.
3. Frost is injurious, it requires four and a half frost free months in a year.
4. Fertile alluvial and red loam soil is suitable for maize.
  • Kharif crop - sown just before onset of monsoon and harvested after retreat of monsoon.
  • characterised by inter-culture i.e. produced along with pulses, oil seeds and vegetables.
  • Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh are main maize producing states.
  • In Tamil Nadu it is Rabi crop sown few weeks before onset of winter rainy season in September/October as Tamil Nadu gets good rain fall in this period (north-east monsoon).


  • are short duration (3-4 months) warm weather grasses grown in areas where main crops like rice and wheat cannot be grown. Jowar, Bajra and Ragi are some important millets.


  • Next to rice and wheat, jowar is third most important food crop both with respect to area and production.

Conditions for growth:

1. grown both as kharif and rabi crop. As a kharif crop temperature between 26 -33 degree Celsius and for rabi, crop temperature should not go below 16 degree Celsius.
2. Rain fall - more than 30 cm but should not exceed 100 cm.
3. Clayey deep regur and alluvium are best suited soils.
  • Usually cultivated in dry and unirrigation areas.
  • Maharashtra plateau region produces two crops of jowar per year, it produces more than 50 per cent of total jowar.
  • In Southern Pune,80 per cent of the area is under jowar cultivation.
  • north- eastern parts of the Karnataka plateau, some dry districts in Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu also produce jowar. Tamil Nadu provides highest yield per hectare compared to other states.
  • Rajasthan's dry climate also provides favourable condition for production of jowar.


1. It is a dry crop - Rainfall 40-50cm.
2. Temperature 25-30 degree Celsius.
3. Can be grown on poor light sandy soils, black and red soils.
  • kharif crop - sown between May/September and harvested between October/February.
  • sown either as a pure or mixed crop with cotton, jowar, and ragi.
  • Rajasthan is largest producer , Maharashtra is second (grown in the central plateau having poor soils and dry climate) other states are Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

mainly grown in drier parts of south India.

1. Rainfall 50-100cm
2. Temperature 20-30 degree Celsius.
3. It is raised on red, light black and sandy looms.
  • kharif crop - sown between May/August and harvested between September/January. Karnataka is the largest producer of ragi,Tamil Nadu is the second largest producer.Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh are some other important producers


include a number of leguminous crops. Gram and tur(arhar) are most important pulses.
Conditions for well growth:

1. Mild cool temperature 20-25 degree Celsius.
2. Rainfall 40-50 cm.
3. It grows well in loamy soils.
  • rabi crop, sown between September/November and harvested between February/April.
  • cultivated as pure or mixed with wheat, barley, linseed or mustard.
  • Most of the gram comes from Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Maharashtra.

Tur or arhar (pigeon pea or red gram)

  • grown as kharif crop in area of mild winter it is grown as rabi crop also.
  • grown as a dry crop mixed with other kharif crops like jowar, bajra, ragi, maize, cotton, groundnut, etc. and is seldom grown as a single crop.
  • Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarath, and Karnataka are the chief producing states.



1. Uniformly high temperature (21-30).
2. Rainfall normal (50-100cm)
3. Black cotton soil.
  • needs at least 210 frost free days in a year.
  • kharif crop - requires 6 to 8 months to mature.
  • time of sowing and harvesting differs in different parts of the country. In Punjab and Haryana, sown in april/may and harvested in December/January. In peninsular part of India, sown upto October and harvested between January and may.
  • Most of the crop is grown mixed with other kharif crops such as maize, jowar, ragi, sesamum, castor, ground nut and vegetables.
  • Cotton grows well in the deep black soils of the Deccan and Malwa plateau and those in Gujarat. About two -third cotton in India is produced by four major states viz. Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana.
  • Cotton quickly exhausts the fertility of soil therefore regular application of manures and fertilizers is necessary.


1. Requires high temperature (24-35) degree
2. Requires heavy rainfall 120-150cm.
3. Grow well in light sandy or claying loams.
  • sown in February on lowlands and in march-may in uplands. The harvesting period starts in July and continues till October.
  • At the time of harvesting more water is needed for the retting process (processing of the jute barks in water).
  • Jute rapidly exhausts the fertility of the soil.
  • Grow well in delta regions eg Hoogly river delta.
  • 98% of the jute is produced in four states, west Bengal(70%), Bihar, Assam, and Odisha.

SUGARCANE long duration crop and requires 10 to 15 and even 18 months to mature. It requires hot and humid climate.

1. temperature 21-27 degree.
2. rainfall 75-150 cm. Heavy rainfall results in low sugar content and deficiency in rainfall produces fibrous crop.
3. Sugarcane can tolerate any kind of soil that can retain moisture. But deep rich loamy soils are best.

There are three belts of sugarcane cultivation :

1.The satluj-ganga plain from Punjab to Bihar.
2.the black soil belt from Maharashtra to tamil nadu along the eastern slopes of the western ghats.
3.coastal Andhra and the Krishna valley.
  • In northern plain, summer temperatures ranging from 30 to 35 degree hamper growth of the cane. In winter months of December and January, crop may get damaged by excessively cold/frost. Consequently the yield is low in North.
  • In south india, high temperature in the summer and frost free winter, coupled with the maritime winds are some of the climatic factors beneficial to this crop. But due to some economical and political conditions more sugars are cultivated in north compare with south. But nowadays it has been changing towards the south.
  • Uttar Pradesh is the highest producer followed by Maharashtra and tamil nadu.

TOBACCO It is a crop of tropical and sub tropical region.

1.temperature varying from 16-35 degree Celsius.
2.rainfall normally 100cm.
3.well drained friable sandy loams, not too rich in organic matter but rich in mineral salts.
  • soil rather than climate is determining factor for its distribution.
  • can be grown from low lying flat plains upto a height of 1800m
  • grown in many states only gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are leading producers.


India has the largest cultivated area of oilseeds in the world. Five major oil seeds are:

Ground nut requires 20-30 degree Celsius temperature.
2.rainfall 50-75 cm.
3.enemies= frost, prolonged drought, continuous rain, stagnant water.
4.well drained light sandy loams, red, yellow and black cotton soils.
  • 90 per cent of produced as the kharif crop. But can also be grown as rabi crop.
  • serves as an important rotation crop to synthesizes atmospheric nitrogen.
  • Andhra Pradesh, tamil ndau, gujarat are three main producers of ground nut. Other states also produce in small quantities.

Sesamum requires 21-23 degree temperature. 2.45-50cm rainfall. 3.well drained light loamy soils.

  • rainfed crop, grown as kharif in north and rabi crop in south.
  • grown in all parts of the country but Odisha, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are main producers.

Rapeseed and mustard

  • Like wheat and gram, thrive only in cool climate of the Satluj-Ganga plain and very small quantity is grown in peninsular India.
  • mainly grown as rabi crop in pure or mixed with wheat,gram,and barley.
  • Rajasthan and uttar Pradesh are two major producers of the rapeseed and mustard. Haryana and Madhya Pradesh are next in the list.

LINSEED is a cool dry crop, 20 degree Celsius temperature is ideal.
2.rainfall of 75 cm is enough.
3.clay loams, deep black soils and alluvial soils are best suited.
  • rabi crop, sown in October/November and harvested in march/april.

Madhya Pradesh, uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra are three major producers of linseed.


1.grows well in 20-25 degree Celsius temperature.
2.50-57cm rainfall is ideal. peninsular india, grows on red sandy loams and in satluj-ganga plain it grows in light alluvial soil.
  • Almost entire castor seed production is rainfed.
  • kharif crop in north and rabi crop in south.
  • Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, and rajashtan are the largest producers of castor seed.


  • are not annual crops and take 3-5 years to bear fruit. But once they start bearing fruit, they continue to do so for 35-40 years.
  • require heavy initial capital investment, high level technology for growth and processing. * Tea, coffee and rubber are principal plantation crops but spices are also included in this category.


  • temperature : 20-30 degree Celsius and above 35 degree & below 10 degree is harmful.
  • requires 150-300cm annual rainfall.
  • high humidity, heavy dew and morning fog favour for rapid development of young leaves.
  • shade loving plant and planted along with shady trees.
  • well drained, deep friable loams.
  • requires heavy rainfall for its growth, stagnant water is injurious to roots, grown on the hill slopes.
  • elevations varying from 600 to 1800m above the sea level.

highly concentrated in few selected areas:

1.north eastern India: areas in Assam and west Bengal. 75 per cent is produced here. In Assam main producing belts are Brahmaputra and Surma valley. In West Bengal it is in Duars and Darjeeling.
2.south India: produced in Nilgiri, Cardamom, Palani and Anaimalai in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Accounts for 22 per cent of tea produce. In south, Tamil Nadu is the largest producer.
3.North West India: Some of the tea is produced in Dehra Dun, Almora and Garhwal districts of Uttar Pradesh and Kangra Valley and Mandi districts of Himachal Pradesh.


  • hot and humid climate, temperature varying from 15-28 degree. Temperature above 30 degree is harmful. do not tolerate frost, snowfall.
  • rainfall from 150-250cm. Stagnant water is harmful.
  • dry weather is necessary at the time of ripening.
  • well drained, rich friable loams containing humus and minerals like iron and calcium are ideal.
  • Northern and eastern aspects of slopes are preferred as they are less exposed to strong afternoon sun and the south west monsoon winds.
  • The restricted agro climatic conditions have forced the coffee plantations to confine themselves to small area in south India comprising hill areas around nilgiris.
  • Almost entire production is shared by three states namely Karnataka, kerala, tamil nadu. Karnataka is the leading producer.


1. requires hot and humid climate.temperature : 25-35 degree Celsius. annual rainfall : about 300cm.
2. dry spell and low temperature is harmful. Daily rainfall followed by strong sun is very useful.
3.deep well drained loamy soils on the hill slopes at elevation ranging from 300-450 m above sea level is best condition. no rubber tree found above 700m elevation as yield reduces.
  • Kerala is the largest producer of rubber followed by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

SPICES Pepper, cordomum, chillies, turmeric and ginger are some of the important spices produced in india.

Pepper: is a tropical crop. It requires a minimum of 10 degree and maximum of 30 degree Celsius. 2.200-300cm rainfall helps its growth. 3.the plant progresses as a vine and needs support of other trees for its growth. thrives well on deep, well drained loamysoil. 5.kerala, Karnataka and tamil nadu are concentrated by the crop.

Cardamom: grows well on high heat and humidity with temperature ranging from 15 degree to 32 degree Celsius. 2.rainfall 150-300cm. 3.well drained forest loams, deep red and laterite soils are best suited. is a shade loving plant and is grown under shade-trees. 5.the entire production comes from three states viz. Kerala, Karnataka and tamil nadu and these states contributes 53, 42, 5 percent respectively.

Chillies: requires temperatures ranging from 10 to 30 degree Celsius. 2.average rainfall of 60-125cm is enough. can be grown in wide variety of soils including black cotton soil, and different type of loamy soils. 4.andhra Pradesh is the leading producer of chillies in india. Which is followed by Maharashtra and odisha.

Ginger: is grown in tropical and sub-tropical climates.10 to 25 degree Celsius temperature is good. 2.125-250cm rainfall is required. 3.well drained sandy clayey or red loams and laterite are best suited soils. 4.kerala is the largest producer of ginger in india. Other main states are Meghalaya, Sikkim, odisha, Mizoram and west Bengal.

Turmeric: requires tropical climate. 2.well drained sandy and clayey loams, medium black, red or alluvial soils for its growth. 3.andhra Pradesh is the largest producer in india. Followed by Karnataka and tamil nadu.


Horticulture is the section of agriculture in which fruits and vegetables are grown. Immense agro climatic diversity enables india to grow a large variety of horticulture crops.

CASHEWNUT Cashew requires average temperature between 16-25 degree Celsius and a wide range of rainfall from 50 to 350 cm. It grows well on laterite soils on the west coast and on sandy soils on the east coast. kerala, tamil nadu and Andhra Pradesh are the major producers. Some of the cashew is also grown in Maharashtra and goa.

MANGO It is the native of monsoon lands and is grown in areas with temperature of 20-30 degree Celsius and rainfall 75 to 250cms. It can grow in almost all soils of india but prefers rich clayey loams. Uttar Pradesh, bihar, Andhra Pradesh, west Bengal, Orissa, kerala, tamil nadu, Maharashtra, gujarath and Karnataka are its main producers.

APPLE Apple is temperate fruit crop. It requires average temperature of 21-4 degree Celsius and rainfall of 100-125cm. The orchard localities should be free from hail storms and frost. These conditions are found on hill slopes at altitudes ranging from 1500-2700m above the sea level. Loamy soils, rich in organic matter and having good drainage are most suitable for apple cultivation. Soil should be free from hard sub strata and water logging. The main areas of apple production are kullu and shimla in himachal Pradesh, the Kashmir valley and hilly areas of western uttar Pradesh.

BANANA Banana is primarily a tropical and sub tropical crop, requiring average temperature of 20-30 degree Celsius. Rainfall should be fairly above 150cm. The banan tree grows well in rich, well drained soil with ample moisture and humus. Although banana growing is spread all over india, the peninsular inidia provides ideal conditions for its cultivation. Tamil nadu and Maharashtra are the two leading producers of banana in india.

ORANGE most of the orange orchads are rainfed and are located at heights from 600 to 1500m. well drained, even textured sandy loams which permit root penetration upto 2-4 metres are best for orange cultivation. Although orange is grown in almost all the states, its cultivation is more prominently concentrated in the hilly regions of western uttar Pradesh, Darjeeling in west Bengal, kangra valley in himachal Pradesh, khasi and jaintia hills in Meghalaya. Hyderabad and Aurangabad in Andhra Pradesh, kodagu district of Karnataka, waynad of kerala, nilgiri district of tamil nadu and Nagpur and pune districts of Maharashtra.

GRAPES Grapes is a sub tropical plant and requires long summer, short sharp winter, a moderately fertile well drained soil, relatively low water supply during growing period and a bright sunshine during mature stage. In north india, the plant gives only one crop during summer but in south india the plant grows throughout the year and yields two crops a year. Uttar Pradesh,himachal Pradesh, jammu and Kashmir and Punjab in the north and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, tamil nadu and Karnataka in the south are grapes producing states.

VEGETABLES India also grow a large variety of vegetables. The important vegetables are potato, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, carrot, brinjal, mushroom, pumpkin, gourd, tomato etc. Most of the vegetables are short duration crops as a result of which two to three crops are raised from the same piece of land in one year. Most of the vegetables are grown around urban areas where they find ready market for their sale.