Cropping System: Principles, Types and Advantages

The cropping system refers to the crops and crop sequences and the management techniques used in a particular field over a period of years. The crops and crop sequences cultivated on specific pieces of land over a predetermined period and their interactions with farm resources and other farm businesses are referred to as cropping systems.

The cropping system is the most significant component of a farming system. In this article we will discuss about Definition, Types, Advantages and Principles of cropping systems.

Definition of Cropping system

A cropping system is a method of growing crops that involves the management of the soil, water, and nutrients to promote sustainable agriculture. A well-designed cropping system can increase crop yields, reduce soil erosion, and improve soil health. This system involves the careful selection of crop varieties, the proper use of fertilizers and other inputs, and the adoption of conservation practices to maintain soil quality. With the increasing demand for food, the use of cropping systems has become more important to ensure the sustainability of agriculture.

Principles of cropping systems

  1. Select crops that go well together.
  2. Choose crops and a cropping rotation that makes good use of the available resources.
  3. Select crops and cropping methods that enhance and maintain soil fertility.
  4. Select crops with a variety of growth phases.
  5. Select a variety of crop species.
  6. Plan your cropping system carefully and adjust it as needed.
  7. Follow the development.

Advantages of cropping systems

1. Enhance and maintain soil fertility:

Some crops are draining on the soil, while others help the soil become more fertile. But a variety of crops will keep the soil fertile and the levels of production high.

2. Boost crop development:

Crops might benefit each other in some way. For instance, cutting down on lodging, making it easier to survive the winter, or even acting as windbreaks to boost growth.

3. Reduce the incidence of disease:

Diseases are less likely to occur when there is a greater variety of plant species and a long time elapsed before the soil is resown with the same crop.

4. Eliminate weeds:

Different weed species are associated with other crops planted at other times of the year. Crop rotation aids in the prevention of severe single-weed species accumulation.

5. Stop the growth of insects and pests:

Pest and insect populations can be significantly reduced by switching crops each year to species that are not related. Their habitat is altered and their food source is frequently eliminated during crop rotation.

6. Use assets all the more effectively:

Having a variety of crops helps to make better use of the available resources. Regular assets, like supplements, daylight, and water in the dirt are uniformly shared by plants over the developing period, limiting the gamble for supplement lacks and dry spells. Additionally, other resources like labor, animal power, and machinery are utilized more effectively.

7. Reduce crop failure danger:

Because the weather in one season may not affect all crops in the same way, having a variety of crops helps prevent total crop failures. Concerns about food security are also lessened, as is the cost of production financing.

8. Increase financial and food security:

Greater regularity in food production throughout the year will result from selecting a sufficient number of varied crops. Food production and income generation are more reliable when crop failure is less likely.

Types of cropping systems

On farms, a variety of cropping system are utilized based on the available technology and resources. Extensively three kinds of trimming frameworks are followed

1. Sole cropping

A sole crop refers to only a single crop or variety grown alone in a pure stand at normal density during one farming year is called sole cropping system.

2. Mono cropping or Monoculture

Mono cropping or monoculture refers to growing only one crop on the same piece of land year after year is called mono cropping system. It could be because of socioeconomic and climatic conditions or because farmers specialize in growing a particular crop. Due to a lack of rainfall, groundnut, cotton, and sorghum are grown year after year in rainfed conditions. irrigate areas that are clogged with water in canals; Because it is impossible to grow any other crop, rice is grown.

Problems of mono-cropping

  1. The assets like work, manures, water, and machines are not used productively.
  2. Nutrients are depleted and the health of the soil is neglected.
  3. There is a possibility of disease and pest infestation.
  4. There is not enough use made of natural resource.

3. Multiple cropping

Multiple cropping is defined as “growing two or more crops on the same piece of land in succession within one calendar year,” such as cotton and wheat or rice and groundnut. It strives for maximum output per unit area and time. It gives you multiple ways to use resources. It refers to the intensification of cropping in terms of time and space, such as more crops on the same piece of land than there are at any given time and more crops within a single year. Inter-cropping, mixed cropping, sequence cropping, and other methods are included.

Advantages of multiple cropping
1. It is an improved source of land utilization
2. It advances yield
3. Growth yield per unit of land
4. Costs of input decrease as related to individual crop growing cost
5. Decrease pest and disease attack
6. Different types of products can be formed at a time
7. It benefits to produce a balanced diet for a family
8. It helps to sustain the soil fertility

Disadvantages of multiple cropping
1. The survival of pests develops easy
2. Pests can easily move from one crop to another crop
3. Problematic of weed management
4. Implementation of new technology is hard etc.

Different types of multiple cropping :

1. Intercropping

Inter-cropping is growing at least two harvests all the while on a similar land parcel with an unequivocal line game plan. The primary goals of intercropping are to utilize the space between two rows of primary crops and produce more grain per unit area. Intercropping was initially drilled as protection against crop disappointment under rainfed conditions. e.g.: Sorghum and Tur in a ratio of 4:2 or groundnut and Tur in a 6:1 ratio.

The Advantages of intercropping:
1. Enhancement in yield
2. Improvement in soil assets under the legume inter cropping system
3. A lesser amount of risk against crop diseases and pests
4. Extra income and higher profit
5. Reduced soil erosion
6. Firmness in production
7. Economic sustainability is preserved

The disadvantages of intercropping:
1. Fertilizer application in one crop may pannier the growth of another crop
2. Improved implements cannot be used resourcefully
3. Harvesting is hard
4. Yield reduces if the crops differ in their competitive abilities

Inter cropping system is further classified as: Additive Series: Intercrop is familiar with the base crop. It is done by regulating or changing crop geometry. It is mostly used in India. Eg: maize + mung-bean (1+1) Replacement Series: Both crops are components. It is done by foregoing certain the proportion of the population. E.g: wheat + mustard (9:1), maize + mung-bean (1:3)

2. Mixed cropping:

Cultivating two or more crops at the same time on the same piece of land in proportion and without any rows. e.g: Wheat and mustard seeds are mixed at a ratio of 2:1 and displayed in a broadcast fashion, with no spacing between the crops.

In climates prone to flood, drought, frost, and other hazards, there is typically no spacing maintained between the crops. are incessant and normal. The farmers always worry that their crops will fail in such circumstances. The time at which all crops are sown is nearly identical in mixed cropping; however, they may.

3. Sequential cropping:

Crops grown in a specific order, like Twofold editing: Two crops grown in a year, such as Triple-cropping rice and wheat: Three crops per year, such as Quadruple cropping of rice, wheat, and maize: Four crops per year, such as Rice-early potato-Wheat-mung

4. Multi-storied cropping:

Cultivation of crops of different heights in the same field at the same time. e.g: Sugarcane + Indian bean or potato or onion, Sorghum+ mung

5. Ratoon cropping:

After harvest, growing a crop with new growth emerging from its roots or stalks. examples include sugarcane, tur, feed sorghum, and feed maize. This reduces the cost of the next crop’s production in terms of land preparation and seed, and the next crop, the ratoon crop, gets a root system that is already established.

6. Paira / Utara/ Relay cropping:

In this case, the second crop is planted in the same field before the first crop is harvested. for Example the first yield is Potato second harvest is Maize, and Lathyrus is rice. This is done primarily to make use of the field’s conserved moisture following the Kharif season. Additionally, it conserves time and maintains vegetation on the land. If you want to learn more about Cropping system.

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