India may be broadly divided into five agricultural regions.
Rice region: North East, South West and West Coast regions of India.
Wheat region: North, West and Central India.
Millet region (sorghum): Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Deccan Plateau, Southern peninsula.
Temperate Himalayan region: Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh.
Plantation crops region: Assam and hills of South India.
(a) Kharif season cropping patterns
1. Rice based cropping patterns – On all India basis thirty rice based cropping patterns has been identified in different states. Rice is grown in sequence with cotton, pulses, gingelly, jute, wheat, sugarcane, banana, turmeric, betel vine etc.
2. Millets based cropping patterns–
(a) Maize based cropping patterns – Maize is grown in sequence with sugarcane, groundnut, cowpea, cotton etc. In India twelve cropping patterns were identified with maize.
(b) Sorghum based cropping pattern – Seventeen patterns were in practice in India.
(c) Pearl millet based cropping patterns – Twenty cropping patterns were identified. Both sorghum and pearl millets are grown mostly under identical environmental conditions. Sorghum and pearl millet or growth with red gram, groundnut, etc.
3. Cotton based cropping patterns –
On All India basis sixteen cropping patterns are identified with cotton. It is grown with groundnut, sorghum, minor millets, rice, sugar cane and tobacco.
(b) Rabi season cropping patterns
Among rabi crops wheat, barley, oats, bengal gram, sorghum are the main base crops. Generally wheat and gram are concentrated in the sub-tropical region in the North India, where as rabi sorghum is grown mostly in deccan.
Wheat and gram based cropping system : On all India basis, nineteen cropping patterns were identified with wheat and seven with gram. Wheat and gram are grown in sequence with maize, rice, sorghum, millets, groundnut, pearl millet, cotton etc.
Rabi sorghum based cropping system : 13 cropping patterns were identified with rabi sorghum which are grown in sequence with pulses, oilseeds, rice, tobacco, groundnut etc.
Cropping Pattern in South India
(a) High intensive cropping system for irrigated drylands
It can be achieved by inclusion of an intercrop in each component crop of the cropping pattern. – sorghum + cowpea (February–May) – onion + ragi (June–August) – cotton + onion/black gram (August–February)
(b) Rainfed dryland cropping patterns
sorghum + cowpea/black gram – (South West Monsoon)
sorghum + red gram (SWM)
sorghum (SWM) – ratoon sorghum/fodder sorghum (NEM)
sorghum (SWM) – horsegram/Lablab (NEM)
groundnut + red gram (SWM)
finger millet + lablab (SWM)
cotton + black gram/green gram (SWM)
(c) Multi-tier cropping in rainfed drylands
Three tier cropping of castor, red gram and groundnut and castor-cotton-coriander or black gram mixtures is popular for a number of years.
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