Rabi & Kharif Crops

Definition of Rabi Crop

Rabi crops are also referred to as Winter crops. They grow during the winter season which is between October and March. The term ‘Rabi’ means spring. Thus, as you know, the harvesting time for Rabi crops happens during the spring season. Unlike Kharif crops, Rabi crops do not need a lot of water. Thus, they make do with routine water irrigation in order to flourish.

 For instance, they include Wheat, Barley, Pulses, Gram, and more. In addition, farmers also sow seeds of Mustard, Cumin, Sunflower, Rapeseed, and more during this season.

Rabi Crops

Definition of Kharif Crop

Kharif Crops grow during the rainy season which is between June and October. Thus, we also refer to them as Monsoon crops. Unlike Rabi crops, these crops require water in abundance in order to grow. That is why the farmers sow them during the onset of monsoon. Consequently, they harvest them at the end of September or in October. However, these crops are totally dependent on the rainfall’s pattern and timing. Thus, some states sow them a bit early than other states depending on the arrival of monsoon.

For instance, Rice, Sugarcane, Cotton, Pulses, Bajra, and more are examples of these crops.

Kharif Crop

Water Requirements of Rabi & Kharif crops in Different Seasons of India

Water is one of the most important inputs essential for the production of crops. Hence crop planning should be done considering as per (Water requirement and Availability of water).

Water Requirements – The water requirement of crops is that quantity of water required by the crops within a given period of time for their maturity and it includes losses due to evapotranspiration plus the unavoidable losses during the application of water and water required for special operations such as land preparation, and leaching. The quantity of water needed for irrigation on different soil types per meter depth of soil profile at 50% of soil moisture availability is as follows – Sandy soils (25-50 mm), Sandy-loam (45-80 mm), Loam (70-110 mm), Clay-loam (80-120 mm) and Heavy clay (100-140 mm).

The water requirement of different crops is given below-

Rice – The amount of water required for growing rice is varies widely under different conditions:-

[1000 – 1500 mm – Heavy soils high water table, Short duration variety, Kharif season].

[1500 – 2000 mm – Medium soils, Kharif or early spring season].

[2000 – 2500 mm – Light soils, Long duration varieties during Kharif, Medium duration varieties during summer].

Rice

Wheat – It requires about 4-5 times irrigation. The dwarf wheat needs more wetness and the optimum moisture range is from 100-60% of availability. For tall wheat the optimum-moisture range is from the field capacity to 50% of availability.

Wheat

Barley – About 2-3 times irrigation are adequate and the optimum soil moisture ranges from the field capacity to 40% of availability.

Barley

Maize – The optimum soil moisture range is from 100-60% of availability in the maximum root-zone, which extends from 40-60 cm on different soil types. In the northern parts 2-3 times irrigation are required before the onset of the monsoon. In Karnataka 2-5 times irrigation are necessary during Kharif and Rabi respectively. At Rajasthan 4 times irrigation (500 mm of water) are required during Kharif.

Maize

Sorghum and Other Millets – The optimum moisture range is from the field capacity to 40% of the availability. At boot stage and grain development, the water requirement is very important.

Sorghum
Types Of Millets

Pulses or Grain Legumes – When grown alone, 1 or 2 times irrigation would be beneficial. The grain legumes (gram, lentil, pea and Indian bean) are irrigated for 2 or 3 times during their growth.

Pulses

Oilseeds – The crops are generally grown under rain fed conditions. Groundnut – 8 to 10 times irrigation of about 50mm each are applied at 10-15 days interval during its growth period. Sunflower, Mustard and Linseeds are grown alone are mixed with cereals should receive 3 or 4 times irrigation during their growth.

Cotton – The optimum moisture range of soil moisture for the crop is from the field capacity to 20% of availability in 0-75 cm of the root-zone. Water requirements varied from 400-800 mm under different conditions and about 4-7 irrigation are required for cotton.

Cotton Plant

Jute – The optimum moisture regime is from the field capacity to 70% of availability in the maximum root-zone of the crop which can extend to about 45 cm of soil depth.

Carpets made of Jute

Sugarcane – The optimum soil moisture for sugarcane has been found to be 100-50% range of availability in the maximum root-zone, extending upto 50-75 cm in depth. In the north, the crop is planted during February-March and irrigated till the commencement of the monsoon.

Fresh sugarcane in garden.

Tobacco – For cigar, hookah and bidi, tobacco the optimum moisture regimes are from the field capacity to 70, 60 and 50% of the availability respectively. Cigar tobacco needs light and frequent irrigation during 4 months. For hookah tobacco, 12-13 times irrigation of 50 mm of water is required.

Tobacco Plants

Forage Crops – The optimum moisture range is from field capacity to about 75% of availability. Berseem requires about 20 times irrigation during its growth at intervals of about 20 days (December-January), 15 days (November-February-March) & 10 days (September-October-April). For Lucerne 1800 to 2000 mm of water require during the first year of growth.

Vegetables – The soil moisture should range between 70-80% of availability in the maximum root-zone. Potato needs water at intervals of 10-12 days. Onion and Garlic need very frequent irrigation about 3 weeks before maturity the irrigation is delayed to enhance the keeping quality of the bulb. Tomato needs irrigation at intervals of 10-12 days during summer and 15-20 days during winter. The optimum moisture regime is from 100-50% of the availability in case of cabbage and cauliflower. Water-melon and musk-melon need water at intervals of 8-10 days. Other crop of cucurbitaceae family needs irrigation at intervals of 10-12 days during summer.

Different types of Vegetables

Spices and Condiments – Important crops are turmeric, ginger, chillies, ajwan, cumin and coriander. Turmeric and ginger should be irrigated to maintain 100-60% of the available moisture in the maximum root-zone, the top 50 cm of the soil. Chillies should be irrigated to maintain 100-50% of the available moisture to about 60 cm in the soil. Coriander, cumin and ajwan need irrigation at intervals of 10-12 days on light soil and 15-20 days on heavy soils

Different types of Spices

Fruit-trees – For fruit trees soil moisture should be maintain in the range of 100-75% of availability. On the full development of the root-zone down to 75-90 cm, the crops may be irrigated when 2/3 times of the available moisture is depleted during blossoming, fruit settings are fruit enlargement. Papaya and banana needs irrigation at intervals of 8-10 days in a tropical climate. The date palm needs regular irrigation during flowering and fruiting to produce good yields.

Different Types of Fruits

Coffee – To irrigate coffee after the cessation of the monsoon rains during flowering to avoid flower shedding is of profitable.

Coffee & Coffee Beans

When the land does not receive any irrigation, the cultivator takes single crop in Kharif season on the available moisture in the soil. If the soil is heavy, a second crop in Rabi season after a short duration crop in Kharif season, but two seasonal or perennial crops is not beneficial. When irrigation becomes available the cropping plan can include heavy perennials like sugarcane and banana, light perennials like guava or orange, two seasonal crops like long staple cotton, chillies, turmeric etc. besides Kharif and Rabi seasonal crops and also follow double cropping such as groundnut green gram, black gram etc. Followed by wheat or rabbi Jowar, Kharif Jowar or cotton followed by wheat, gram or some vegetable to seasonal crop followed by summer groundnut or some vegetable crop.

The Railways

Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, rail vehicles (rolling stock) are directionally guided by the tracks on which they run. Tracks usually consist of steel rails, installed on sleepers (ties) set in ballast, on which the rolling stock, usually fitted with metal wheels, moves. Other variations are also possible, such as “slab track”, in which the rails are fastened to a concrete foundation resting on a prepared subsurface.

Rolling stock in a rail transport system generally encounters lower frictional resistance than rubber-tired road vehicles, so passenger and freight cars (carriages and wagons) can be coupled into longer trains. The operation is carried out by a railway company, providing transport between train stations or freight customer facilities. Power is provided by locomotives that either draw electric power from a railway electrification system or produce their power, usually by diesel engines or, historically, steam engines. Most tracks are accompanied by a signaling system. Railways are a safe land transport system when compared to other forms of transport. Railway transport is capable of high levels of passenger and cargo utilization and energy efficiency but is often less flexible and more capital-intensive than road transport when lower traffic levels are considered.

Picture source: https://scroll.in/article/669579/the-long-history-of-indian-railways-told-through-images

Indian Railways

Indian Railways (IR) is a statutory body under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Railways, Government of India that operates India’s national railway system. It manages the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size, with a route length of 67,956 km (42,226 mi) as of 31 March 2020. 45,881 km (28,509 mi) or 71% of all the broad-gauge routes are electrified with 25 kV 50 Hz AC electric traction as of 1 April 2021.

In the fiscal year ending March 2020, Indian Railways carried 808.6 crores (8.086 billion) passengers and transported 121.23 crores (1.2123 billion) tonnes of freight. It runs 1 lakh (100,000) passenger trains daily, on both long-distance and suburban routes, covering 7,325 stations across India. Mail or Express trains, the most common types of trains, run at an average speed of 50.6 km/h (31.4 mph). Suburban EMUs run at an average speed of 37.5 km/h (23.3 mph). Ordinary passenger trains (incl. mixed) run at an average speed of 33.5 km/h (20.8 mph). The maximum speed of passenger trains varies, with the Gatimaan Express running at a peak speed of 160 km/h (99 mph).

In the freight segment, IR runs 8,479 trains daily. The average speed of freight trains is around 24 km/h (15 mph). The maximum speed of freight trains varies from 60–75 km/h (37–47 mph) depending on their axle load with ‘container special’ trains running at a peak speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).

The first railway proposals for India were made in Madras in 1832.

  • The country’s first transport train, Red Hill Railway (built by Arthur Cotton to transport granite for road-building), ran from Red Hills to the Chintadripet bridge in Madras in 1837. In 1845, the Godavari Dam Construction Railway was built by Cotton at Dowleswaram in Rajahmundry, to supply stone for the construction of a dam over the Godavari River. In 1851, the Solani Aqueduct Railway was built by Proby Cautley in Roorkee to transport construction materials for an aqueduct over the Solani River.
  • India’s first passenger train, operated by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and hauled by three steam locomotives (SahibSindh, and Sultan), ran for 34 kilometers (21 mi) with 400 people in 14 carriages on 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge track between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) and Thane on 16 April 1853. The Thane viaducts, India’s first railway bridges, were built over the Thane creek when the Mumbai-Thane line was extended to Kalyan in May 1854. Eastern India’s first passenger train ran 39 km (24 mi) from Howrah, near Kolkata, to Hoogly on 15 August 1854. The first passenger train in South India ran 97 km (60 mi) from Royapuram-Veyasarapady (Madras) to Wallajabad (Arcot) on 1 July 1856.

Rivers of India

The rivers of India play an important role in the lives of the Indian people. The river systems provide irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation, electricity, as well as provide livelihoods for a large number of people all over the country.

Seven major rivers (Indus, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Tapi, Godavari, Krishna and Mahanadi) along with their numerous tributaries make up the river system of India.

All major rivers of India originate from one of the three main watersheds;

  • The Himalaya and the Karakoram ranges
  • Vindhya and Satpura ranges and Chotanagpur plateau in central India
  • Sahyadri or Western Ghats in western India

Based on the topography, the river systems of India can be classified into four groups.

  • Himalayan Rivers
  • Deccan Rivers
  • Coastal Rivers
  • Rivers of the Inland Drainage Basin

The Himalayan Rivers – The Himalayan Rivers receive input from rain as well as snowmelt and glacier melt and, therefore, have continuous flow throughout the year. The main river systems in Himalayas are those of the Indus and the Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna. The Indus rises near Mansarovar in Tibet. Flowing through Kashmir, it enters Pakistan and finally falls in the Arabian Sea near Karachi. Bhagirathi and Alakhnanda are two important rivers that originate in Garhwal Himalayas. . These join at Devprayag to form Ganga which is the most sacred river of India. This river traverses through Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal and thereafter enters Bangladesh. Yamuna River is an important tributary of Ganga and its own important tributaries are Chambal and Betwa. The Brahmaputra rises in Tibet where it is known by the name Tsangpo. It enters India in Arunachal Pradesh and after traversing through Assam, enters Bangladesh. The combined Ganga-Brahmaputra River meets Meghna in Bangladesh and their huge volume of water flows into the Bay of Bengal.

The Deccan Rivers – The Rivers of Deccan can be further classified in two groups: west flowing rivers and east flowing rivers. The Narmada and the Tapi rivers flow westwards into Arabian Sea. The important east flowing rivers are the Brahmani, the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna, the Pennar, and the Cauvery. These rivers fall into the Bay of Bengal. The Mahanadi, rising in the state of Madhya Pradesh, is an important river in the state of Orissa. The Krishna rises in the Western Ghats and flows east into the Bay of Bengal. The Krishna is the third longest river in India. The source of the Cauvery is in the state of Karnataka and the river flows south eastward. The Narmada and the Tapi are the only major rivers that flow eastward into the Arabian Sea.

The Narmada rises in Madhya Pradesh and crosses the state, passing swiftly through a narrow valley between the Vindhya Range and spurs of the Satpura Range. It flows into the Gulf of Khambhat (or Cambay).

The Coastal RiversThere are numerous coastal rivers which are comparatively small. While only handful of such rivers drains into the sea near the deltas of east coast, there are as many as 600 such rivers on the west coast. The West Coast Rivers are important as they contain as much as 14% of the country’s water resources while draining only 3% of the land.

Rivers of the Inland Drainage Basin – The Rivers of the inland system, centred in western Rajasthan state, are few and frequently disappear in years of scant rainfall. A few rivers in Rajasthan do not drain into the sea. They drain into salt lakes or get lost in sands with no outlet to sea.

The rivers of India can be classified on the basis of origin and on the type of basin that they form.

On the basis of Origin: Himalayan Rivers and Peninsular Rivers.

Himalayan Rivers -The main Himalayan river systems are the Ganga, the Indus and the Brahmaputra river systems. The Himalayan Rivers form large basins. Many rivers pass through the Himalayas. These deep valleys with steep rock sides were formed by the down – cutting of the river during the period of the Himalayan uplift. They perform intense erosional activity up the streams and carry huge load of sand and silt. In the plains, they form large meanders and a variety of depositional features like flood plains, river cliffs and levees. These rivers are perennial as they get water from the rainfall as well as the melting of ice. Nearly all of them create huge plains and are navigable over long distances of their course. These rivers are also harnessed in their upstream catchment area to generate hydroelectricity.

Peninsular Rivers – The main peninsular river systems include the Narmada, the Tapi, the Godavari, the Krishna, the Kaveri and the Mahanadi river systems. The Peninsular Rivers flow through shallow valleys. A large number of them are seasonal as their flow is dependent on rainfall. The intensity of erosional activities is also comparatively low because of the gentler slope. The hard rock bed and lack of silt and sand does not allow any significant meandering. Many rivers therefore have straight and linear courses. These rivers provide huge opportunities for hydro-electric power.

The Indus River System – The Indus originates in the northern slopes of the Kailas range in Tibet near Lake Mansarovar. It follows a north-westerly course through Tibet. It enters Indian Territory in Jammu and Kashmir.

The main tributaries of the Indus in India are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej

  • Jhelum – The Jhelum originates in the south-eastern part of Kashmir, in a spring at Verinag.. It follows the Indo-Pakistan border flowing into the plains of Punjab, finally joining the Chenab at Trimmu.
  • Chenab – The Chenab originates from the confluence of two rivers, the Chandra and the Bhaga, which themselves originate from either side of the Bara Lacha Pass in Lahul. It is also known as the Chandrabhaga in Himachal Pradesh. It is further joined by the Ravi and the Sutlej in Pakistan.
  • Ravi – The Ravi originates near the Rohtang pass in the Kangra Himalayas and follows a north-westerly course. It flows as a part of the Indo-Pakistan border for some distance before entering Pakistan and joining the Chenab River. The total length of the river is about 720 km.
  • Beas – The Beas originates in Beas Kund, lying near the Rohtang pass. It runs past Manali and Kulu, where its beautiful valley is known as the Kulu valley. It joins the Sutlej river near Harika, after being joined by a few tributaries. The total length of the river is 615 km.
  • Sutlej – The Sutlej originates from the Rakas Lake, which is connected to the Mansarovar Lake by a stream, in Tibet. Its flows in a north-westerly direction and enters Himachal Pradesh at the Shipki Pass, where it is joined by the Spiti river.  It turns west below Rupar and is later joined by the Beas. It enters Pakistan near Sulemanki, and is later joined by the Chenab. It has a total length of almost 1500 km.

The Narmada River SystemThe Narmada or Nerbudda is a river in central India. It forms the traditional boundary between North India and South India, and is a total of 1,289 km long. Its total length through the states of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Gujarat amounts to 1312 kilometres (815 miles), and it empties into the Arabian Sea in the Bharuch district of Gujarat.

The Tapi River System – The Tapi is a river of central India. It is one of the major rivers of peninsular India with the length of around 724 km, and only the Tapi River along with the Narmada River, and the Mahi River run from east to west. It rises in the eastern Satpura Range of southern Madhya Pradesh state emptying into the Gulf of Cambay of the Arabian Sea, in the State of Gujarat.

The Godavari River System – The river with second longest course within India, Godavari is often referred to as the Vriddh (Old) Ganga or the Dakshin (South) Ganga. The river is about 1,450 km (900 miles) long. It rises at Trimbakeshwar, near Nasik and Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in Maharashtra around 380 km distance from the Arabian Sea and empties into the Bay of Bengal. It is a seasonal river, widened during the monsoons and dried during the summers

The Krishna River System – The Krishna is one of the longest rivers of India (about 1300 km in length). It originates at Mahabaleswar in Maharashtra, passes through Sangli and meets the sea in the Bay of Bengal at Hamasaladeevi in Andhra Pradesh. The Krishna River flows through the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Its most important tributary is the Tungabhadra River, which itself is formed by the Tunga and Bhadra rivers that originate in the Western Ghats.

The Kaveri River System – The Kaveri (also spelled Cauvery or Kaveri) is one of the great rivers of India and is considered sacred by the Hindus. This river is also called Dakshin Ganga. It flows generally south and east for around 765 km, emptying into the Bay of Bengal through two principal mouths. Its basin is estimated to be 27,700 square miles (71,700 km²), and it has many tributaries including Shimsha, Hemavati, Arkavathy, Kapila, Honnuhole, Lakshmana Tirtha, Kabini, Lokapavani, Bhavani, Noyyal and famous Amaravati.

The Mahanadi River System – The Mahanadi is a river of eastern India. The Mahanadi rises in the Satpura Range of central India, and flows east to the Bay of Bengal. The Mahanadi drains most of the state of Chhattisgarh and much of Orissa and also Jharkhand and Maharashtra. It has a length of about 860 km. Near the city of Sambalpur; a large dam – the Hirakud Dam – is built on the river.

RIVERS OF INDIA