The plants that are grown and harvested by farmers for-profit and subsistence are called crops. Crops can be consumed by animals and humans and are essential to sustain life. The branch of science that deals with the study of cultivations of crops and rearing of cattle are called agriculture. Agriculture or aquaculture are the two modes by which crops can be cultivated. Harvested crops are used as food for humans or fodder for livestock. Examples of crops are- Grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. It also includes macroscopic funguses like mushrooms and alga.
Depending upon the usage crops are divided into four categories-
Food Crops- Rice, wheat, pulses, etc.
Cash Crops- Tobacco, cotton, jute, etc.
Plantation Crops- Tea, Coffee, rubber, etc.
Horticulture crops- It includes fruits and vegetables.
In developing countries like India, crops are also divided on the basis of the season in which they are grown. There are two sowing seasons- monsoon and winter. On the basis of this, crops are divided as-
These are grown in monsoon season, mostly in the month of June and harvested by the month of November. Examples- Rice, jowar, bajra.
These are grown in the winter season, mostly in the month of October and harvested by the month of March. Examples- Wheat, barley, mustard.
There are many other crops that can be grown in Kharif as well as rabi season. Example- Castor seed, jowar, etc.
India is an agriculture-based country. More than half of the population in our country is dependent on agriculture. Therefore, the production and management of crops are very important to keep up the agricultural productivity.
The methods involved in crop production are as follows-
The agricultural land has to be prepared before starting the process. So that it offers maximum benefits to the crops and gives good produce. For this, the agricultural land is plowed or loosened first. Also, the cultivated land from the previous harvest contains the remains of the harvest which need to be removed. Many times, there are big solid lumps of soil that need to be loosened. There should be good aeration in the soil to allow the roots to grow and breathe. Plowing of the soil also brings up the nutrients of the soil that lie beneath. Thus, the first method is the loosening of the soil by plowing.
Farmers usually get high productivity and good quality seeds in bulk and sow them in the agricultural land. Seeds can either be sown directly on the field or first sown in the nursery and then transplanted to the field. There are various ways of sowing seeds. Listed below are different seed sowing techniques
Sowing behind the country plow
Check row planting
Crops need various nutrients to grow properly. These requirements vary from crop to crop and nutrients in the soil may not be enough to provide overall nutrition to the growing crops. Hence, compost and manures are added to the soil to increase its nutrient value and to provide nourishment to the crops. Farmers mostly use decomposing plant and animal matter to prepare manure. Compost is also a decaying organic matter which is added to the soil.
Some crops need more than compost and manure. To fulfill this extra need essential for the growth of certain crops, chemically prepared nutrients are used called fertilizers. Fertilizers are made artificially keeping in mind the basic necessities of the crops for optimal growth, hence they give faster results. But excessive use of chemical fertilizers may deplete the quality of the soil and make it infertile.
Water is another basic requirement of the growing crops and farmers cannot depend entirely on rains as they are not definitive. So, controlled amounts of water at regular intervals of time are applied to the crops and the process is called irrigation. Irrigation is also done by various methods, Water is mostly drawn from the nearby water sources like river, lake, etc.
Nowadays, various modern techniques of irrigation are also used. Irrigation ensures a proper supply of water to growing crops. Hence, ensuring their proper growth.
Weeds are unwanted wild plants that grow along with the crops on the field. Weeds feed on the nutrients and water provided to the cultivated crops and thus, they decrease the supply of nutrients and water to the crops. This affects the growth of the crops. Therefore, it is essential to restrict the growth of weeds. The process of removal of weeds from the agricultural land is called weeding. Certain chemicals called weedicides are specifically made to destroy the weeds. Weedicides are applied on the agricultural land before seeding or flowering.
Harvesting the Crops
Mature and fully grown crops are cut for further physical processing. This process is called harvesting. Harvesting is usually done manually with the help of sickles. Machines may also be used to harvest crops. Machines lower labor work by harvesting and threshing the crops simultaneously. Threshing is the separation of grains from crops. Another step is winnowing which is the separation of grains and chaff. It may be done mechanically or manually.
To preserve the grains for a longer period, they must be stored well. Moisture and rodents destroy the crops therefore they need to be protected from both. The harvested seeds are dried before storing. Drying of seeds prevents insect and rodent attacks. Grains are stored in jute bags or bins of metal and sealed properly. Large granaries provide specific chemical treatments to protect the grains from pests and rodents for a longer period of time.
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The whole world depends on agriculture for food. Food from plants is the primary need of humans. Therefore, crop production and management are very important. Various techniques and methods involved in crop production and management ensure that there’s food for everyone. Apart from this, it is the only means of earning for farmers. Farmers completely depend on agriculture. Thus, crop production becomes a source of income for many. It puts food on the table of everyone. It keeps the soil fertile. It helps them control bugs and soil-borne ailments.
1. Why is the production and management of food from plants necessary?
Crops are the primary source of food for humans. Thus, crop production and management play an important role. To feed the ever-growing population, it is essential to ensure large scale production, proper management, and distribution of crops. All of our basic meals include crops. Wheat, rice, pulses, etc. make up our everyday meal. Crops are an integral source of food for all of us. Thus, crop production and management are very important.
2. What is the importance of crop production and management?
Crop production and management ensure the availability of food to everyone in the world. Crops are a primary source of food for humans and crop production and management food availability can be ensured to the growing population of the world. It also makes for a source of income for many. Hence, crop production and management are very important.