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  • When plants of the same kind are grown
    and cultivated at one place on a large
    scale, it is called a crop.
  • two broad cropping patterns can be

    These are:
    (i) Kharif Crops : The crops which are
    sown in the rainy season are called
    kharif crops. The rainy season in India
    is generally from June to September.
    Paddy, maize, soyabean, groundnut,
    cotton, etc., are kharif crops.
    (ii) Rabi Crops : The crops grown in the
    winter season are called rabi crops.
    Their time period is generally from
    October to March. Examples of rabi
    crops are wheat, gram, pea, mustard
    and linseed.
    Besides these, pulses and vegetables
    are grown during summer at many
  • agricultural practices.
    These activities are listed below.
    (i) Preparation of soil
    (ii) Sowing
    (iii) Adding manure and fertilisers
    (iv) Irrigation
    (v) Protecting from weeds
    (vi) Harvesting
    (vii) Storage
  • soil contains minerals,
    water, air and some living organisms.
    In addition, dead plants and animals
    get decomposed by soil organisms. In
    this way, various nutrients held in the
    dead organisms are released back into
    the soil. These nutrients are again
    absorbed by plants.
    Since only a few centimetres of the
    top layer of soil supports plant growth,
    turning and loosening of soil brings the
    nutrient-rich soil to the top so that
    plants can use these nutrients. Thus
    turning and loosening of soil is very
    important for cultivation of crops.
    The process of loosening and turning
    of the soil is called tilling or ploughing

    Sometimes, manure is added to the
    soil before tilling. This helps in proper
    mixing of manure with soil. The soil is
    watered before sowing
  • The substances which are added to the
    soil in the form of nutrients for the
    healthy growth of plants are called
    manure and fertilisers
  • Continuous growing of crops makes
    the soil poorer in certain nutrients.
    Therefore, farmers have to add manure
    to the fields to replenish the soil with
    nutrients. This process is called
    manuring. Improper or insufficient
    manuring results in weak plants.
  • Manure is an organic substance
    obtained from the decomposition of
    plant or animal wastes. Farmers dump
    plant and animal waste in pits at open
    places and allow it to decompose. The
    decomposition is caused by some
    microorganisms. The decomposed
    matter is used as organic manure
  • Fertilisers are chemical substances
    which are rich in a particular
  • Fertilisers are produced in
    factories. Some examples of fertilisers
    are— urea, ammonium sulphate,
    super phosphate, potash, NPK
    (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium).
    The use of fertilisers has helped
    farmers to get better yield of crops
    such as wheat, paddy and maize. But
    excessive use of fertilisers has made
    the soil less fertile. Fertilisers have also
    become a source of water pollution.
    Therefore, in order to maintain the
    fertility of the soil, we have to
    substitute fertilisers by organic
    manure or leave the field uncultivated
    (fallow) in between two crops.
    The use of manure improves soil
    texture as well as its water retaining
    capacity. It replenishes the soil with
    all the nutrients.
  • Another method of replenishing
    the soil with nutrients is through crop
    rotation. This can be done by growing
    different crops alternately. Earlier,
    farmers in northern India used to
    grow legumes as fodder in one season
    and wheat in the next season. This
    helped in the replenishment of the soil
    with nitrogen.
  • Rhizobium bacteria.
    These are present in the nodules of
    the roots of leguminous plants. They
    fix atmospheric nitrogen
  • Differences between Fertiliser and Manure


    1. A fertiliser is an inorganic salt
    2. A fertiliser is prepared in factories. 
    3. A fertiliser does not provide any humus to the soil.
    4. Fertilisers are very rich in plant nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. 
    1. Manure is a natural substance obtained by the decomposition of cattle dung,
      human waste and plant residues.
    2. Manure can be prepared in the fields.
    3. Manure provides a lot of humus to the soil.
    4. Manure is relatively less rich in plant nutrients.

  • Advantages of Manure : The organic
    manure is considered better than
    fertilisers. This is because
    • it enhances the water holding
    capacity of the soil.
    • it makes the soil porous due to which
    exchange of gases becomes easy.
    • it increases the number of friendly
    •  it improves the texture of soil

  • Along with water,
    minerals and fertilisers are also
    absorbed. Plants contain nearly 90%
    water. Water is essential because
    germination of seeds does not take place
    under dry conditions. Nutrients
    dissolved in water get transported
    each part of the plant. Water also
    protects the crop from both frost and
    hot air currents. To maintain the
    moisture of the soil for healthy crop
    growth, fields have to be watered
    The supply of water to crops at
    different intervals is called irrigation.
    The time and frequency of irrigation
    varies from crop to crop, soil to soil and
    season to season
  • Modern Methods of
    Modern methods of irrigation
    help us to use water
    economically. The main
    methods used are as follows:
    (i) Sprinkler System: This
    system is more useful on the
    uneven land where sufficient
    water is not available. The
    perpendicular pipes, having
    rotating nozzles on top, are
    joined to the main pipeline
    at regular intervals. When
    water is allowed to flow
    through the main pipe under
    pressure with the help of a pump, it
    escapes from the rotating nozzles. It gets
    sprinkled on the crop as if it is raining.
    Sprinkler is very useful for sandy soil

    (ii) Drip system : In this system, the
    water falls drop by drop just at the
    position of the roots. So it is called drip
    system. It is the best technique for
    watering fruit plants, gardens and trees.
    The system provides water to plants drop
    by drop Water is not wasted
    at all. It is a boon in regions where
    availability of water is poor
  • The removal of weeds is called
    weeding. Weeding is necessary since
    weeds compete with the crop plants for
    water, nutrients, space and light. Thus,
    they affect the growth of the crop. Some
    weeds interfere even in harvesting and
    may be poisonous for animals and
    human beings.
  • In order to provide food to our growing
    population, we need to adopt certain
    agricultural practices.
    􀃂 Same kind of plants grown and cultivated at
    a place constitute a crop.
    􀃂 In India, crops can be broadly categorised into
    two types based on seasons - rabi and kharif
    􀃂 It is necessary to prepare soil by tilling and
    levelling. Ploughs and levellers are used for
    this purpose.
    􀃂 Sowing of seeds at appropriate depths and
    distances gives good yield. Good variety of
    seeds are sown after selection of healthy seeds.
    Sowing is done by seed drills.
    􀃂 Soil needs replenishment and enrichment
    through the use of organic manure and
    fertilisers. Use of chemical fertilisers has
    increased tremendously with the introduction
    of new crop varieties.
    􀃂 Supply of water to crops at appropriate
    intervals is called irrigation.
    􀃂 Weeding involves removal of unwanted and
    uncultivated plants called weeds.
    􀃂 Harvesting is the cutting of the mature crop
    manually or by machines.
    􀃂 Separation of the grains from the chaff is called
    􀃂 Proper storage of grains is necessary to protect
    them from pests and microorganisms.
    􀃂 Food is also obtained from animals for which
    animals are reared. This is called animal


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