Crops are the primary source of food for all human beings. With an increasing population, the demand for food is also on the rise. Subsequently, several crop production and management strategies and methods are implemented in the agricultural field to increase output level.
This particular article offers a fair idea about crop harvesting and its storage and highlights the crucial steps involved in both.
Read along to find more!
The crop production definition states that it is a branch of agriculture which deals with the yield of crops, helping to meet the demand for food and fibre.
Several Practises Involved with Crop Production. The Most Important Ones are as Follows –
Preparing the soil.
Usage of manure, fertiliser and pesticides.
Storage of crops.
The figure below highlights the scientific principles of crop production in a nutshell.
It is noteworthy that both crop harvesting and its storage are dealt with utmost care. It is done mostly to prevent unwarranted loss or damage to crops resulting from improper harvesting techniques or unfavourable environmental factors.
On that note, let’s proceed to know more about them.
Crop harvesting is the procedure of cutting, gathering or reaping of crops. The said procedure is initiated when crops mature and turn golden yellow or brown.
Usually, factors like the type of crop, its maturity period and season are determining factors for the harvesting of crops. In India, festivals like Baisakhi, Bihu, Holi, Pongal, etc. are closely associated with harvesting season.
Notably, there are two types of methods of harvesting in agriculture– manual and mechanical. The manual process of collection is more traditional and labour intensive. Farmers use sickles and cutlass extensively to harvest mature crops.
On the other hand, mechanical harvesting is a suitable example of modern farming techniques, wherein farmers use machines like harvesters to harvest mature crops. Subsequently, grains are separated from husks and chaff through the process of threshing and winnowing.
Test Your Knowledge: Complete the sentences:
Threshing is the process –
Winnowing is the process -
It is the procedure of putting away crops safely until it is dispatched to the markets or sold off. Storing crops on a large scale often helps to solve food scarcity in the event of crop failure resulting from flood, drought, etc.
Since moisture, insects, rodents and microorganisms can damage food grains, it is vital to store them carefully. Another reason why safe storage is so crucial is – food grains infested with microbes or insects often lose their ability to germinate. Consequently, post-harvesting crops are dried thoroughly in the sun to get rid of moisture.
Similarly, to eliminate the risk of rodents, pesticides are used, while fumigation comes in handy against bacterial infestation. Subsequently, crops are packed in gunny bags or deposited in storage facilities.
On the other hand, fruits and vegetables are best for cold storages to prevent spoilage and discourage the growth of microorganisms. It is noteworthy that fruits and vegetables must be stored in a clean cold store with plenty of ventilation to keep them fresh for long.
Hence, crop storage methods are of utmost importance to keep food in good and usable condition.
Test Your Knowledge: Which of these does not protect crops from microbes?
Turmeric b) Castor oil c) Rice Powder d) Castor oil.
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1. What are the Steps Involved in Crop Production?
Ans. There are six main steps, and they are – i.) Soil preparation, ii.) Sowing of seed, iii.) Irrigation, iv.) Use of fertiliser, manure and pesticides v.)Harvesting of crops vi.) Storage of crops.
2. What are the Factors that Determine the Time of Harvesting a Crop?
Ans. Harvesting of crops depends on a few factors, including - crop type, maturity period and season. Also, the harvest is done either manually or with the help of machines.
3. What are Some Factors that can Affect Crop Production?
Ans. Four factors that affect the production of crops include – climate, availability of water, the fertility of soil, pests and disease. Proper steps should be taken to manage the risks associated with these factors effectively.