Cropping Patterns

What are Cropping Patterns?

Cropping pattern refers to the proportion of land under cultivation of various crops at different points of your time. This indicates the time and arrangement of crops during a particular acreage. Changing cropping pattern would cause:

  • Change within the proportion of land under different crops.

  • Change in space sequence and time of crops.

The cropping pattern in India is mostly determined by the average rainfall, temperature, climate, technology, and the type of soil used for agriculture. The different patterns of cropping are practiced in order to obtain the maximum yield.

Types of Cropping Pattern:

The major cropping pattern types include the following:

1. Monocropping:

Growing one agricultural species at a time in agricultural land is the meaning of monocropping. Monocropping can reduce the fertility of the soil and destroy the structure of the soil. Chemical fertilizers are required to upgrade production. This practice allows the spread of pests and diseases. Monocropping and monoculture convey the same meaning.

2. Mixed Cropping:

When two or more crops are grown on an equivalent land simultaneously, it's referred to as mixed cropping. For example, growing wheat and gram on an equivalent land at an equivalent time is mixed cropping. The practice of this method helps to minimize the risk of the failure of one of the crops and provides insurance against the crop failure due to abnormal weather conditions. The crops that are grown together should have a different maturation time and different water requirements. One tall and one dwarf crop should be grown together. The nutrients required by one crop should be but those required by the opposite. One of the crops should have deep roots and the other one should be shallow. Satisfying all these criteria can lead to a successful mixed cropping pattern.

Advantages of Mixed Cropping:

  • The crop yield increases.

  • The pest infestation is minimized.

  • Reduction in the risk of crop failure.

  • The soil is utilized properly.

  • More than one sort of crop is often harvested at an equivalent time.

3. Intercropping:

Intercropping is the practice of growing quite one crop on an equivalent field at an equivalent time during a definite row pattern. After one row of the most crop, three rows of intercrops are often grown. This increases productivity per unit area.

Intercropping can be of different types:

  • Row Intercropping: When the crops are arranged in alternate rows it is called row intercropping. It helps in the maximum utilization of the available land space and the suppression of weeds during the early stages of the main crop.

  • Strip Intercropping: When two or more crops are grown in wide strips in order that the two crops are often managed separately, it's referred to as farming. However, the crops are close enough to interact.

  • Relay Intercropping: It is a type of intercropping, in which a second crop is cultivated only when the already existing crop has flowered but not harvested.

For example Rice-Cauliflower-Onion-Summer gourds.

Advantages of Intercropping:

  • The fertility of the soil is maintained.

  • The spread of diseases and pests is controlled.

  • Optimum utilization of resources.

  • The time and the land utilized for growing more than one crop are saved.

  • Maximum utilization of nutrients present in the soil.

  • Maize and soybean, bajra, and lobea are a number of the crops grown as intercrops.

Crop Rotation

In this pattern, different crops are grown on an equivalent land in pre-planned succession. The crops are classified based on the time they are rotated one-year rotation, two-year rotation, and three-year rotation, depending upon their duration. Legumes are included within the crop rotation program to extend soil fertility. The crops which require a high fertility level are often grown after the legumes. The crops which require low inputs are often grown after the crops that need high inputs.

How are the Crops Selected for Rotation?

  • While selecting the crops for rotation, the subsequent criteria should be adopted:

  • Enough moisture should be available.

  • Availability of fertilizers, man-power, and machine-power.

  • Marketing and processing facilities.

  • Availability of nutrients in the soil.

  • The crop duration- short or long.

Advantages of Crop Rotation

  • The soil fertility is maintained for a protracted period.

  • The growth of weeds and pests is prevented.

  • A lot of chemical fertilizers are not required.

  • The physical and chemical nature of the soil remains unchanged.

Factors Affecting Different Cropping Patterns

The factors that affect the different types of cropping patterns are:

  • The cropping patterns help to determine the level of agricultural production. This reflects the agricultural economy of any region.

  • The cropping patterns are suffering from changes in agrarian policy, availability of agricultural inputs, improvement in technology.

  • Hence the cropping patterns are important in improving the fertility of the soil, by increasing the yield of the crops. It ensures crop protection and the availability of nutrients to the crops.


Agriculture plays an important role in the economy of a country. To have a good economy following the different cropping patterns is important, and the cultivation is affected by various factors. Thus we can conclude that economic factors play a major role in the determination of the cropping pattern in Indian agriculture. Even though the Indian farmers are poverty-stricken, the cropping system can be changed by their motivation.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Meaning of the Cropping Pattern?

Ans: Cropping pattern meaning is as follows, the portion of land which is under cultivation at different intervals of time. The cropping pattern in India is mostly determined by certain parameters such as average rainfall, temperature, climate, technology, and the type of soil used for agriculture. The different patterns of cropping are practiced in order to obtain the maximum yield.

2. Define Monocropping or Monocrop Agriculture. What are the Effects of Monocropping?

Ans: The monocropping definition is as follows, growing of one species at a time in the agricultural land.

The Advantages Include:

  • It allows the specialized production of crops.

  • It helps to promote technological advances that take place in the agricultural field.

  • It increases the efficiency of soil.

  • It is very easy to manage.

The Disadvantages of the Monocropping System Include:

  • It increases the problem of pests.

  • It degrades the soil.

  • It pollutes the environment by the higher utilization of chemicals and pesticides.

  • It affects biodiversity.