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Cropping Patterns

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A cropping system is the type and sequence of crops farmed, and the procedures employed to grow them. It includes all cropping sequences done over space and time based on crop production technology available. Cropping technologies have typically been designed to maximize crop yields.

What are Cropping Patterns?

A cropping pattern changes through time and space and is the proportion of land under diverse crops at any given moment. It is, in other words, the annual sequence and geographic organization of sowing and following in a certain location. Cropping patterns in India depend upon rainfall, climate, temperature, soil type, and technology.

The most essential factor in shaping the country’s cropping pattern is an economic motive. Among the different economic elements influencing cropping patterns, irrigation, power, landholding size, crop sale price, farmer income, insurance, and investment are crucial in determining an area’s cropping pattern.

Government legislative and administrative measures may have an impact on cropping patterns. Food Crops Acts, Land Use Acts, intensive paddy schemes, cotton, and oilseed schemes, and subsidies all have an impact on cropping patterns. The government can support or prohibit specific crops for a variety of reasons such as drought, flood, inflation, and so on.

Also Read: Crop Improvement

Types of Cropping Patterns

The common types of crop patterns include the following patterns:

  1. Monocropping
  2. Mixed Cropping
  3. Inter Cropping




Monocropping is the cultivation of only one agricultural species on a piece of land. Monocropping has been shown to have a negative impact on soil fertility and structure. Chemical fertilizers are necessary to increase output. This is how pests and diseases propagate.

Mixed Cropping

Mixed cropping occurs when two or more crops are planted on the same area of land at the same time. When you plant wheat and gram on the same area of ground at the same time, this is known as mixed cropping. The use of this strategy reduces the danger of one of the crops failing and provides insurance against crop failure due to unusual weather conditions. Crops grown in close proximity should have separate maturation times and water requirements.

Advantages of Mixed Cropping

  • It improves crop yield.
  • Low risk of pest infestation and crop failure.
  • Multiple crop varieties can be harvested.
  • Properly utilization of soil.
  • More than one crop is harvested together.


Intercropping is the practice of simultaneously producing multiple crops in the same row pattern on the same piece of land. Three rows of intercrops are commonly planted after one row of the main crop. This boosts per-square-foot productivity. For Example- corn, soybean, and wheat are grown simultaneously. Intercropping can be seen in the following examples:

Row Intercropping 

When the component crops are grown in alternate rows, this is known as row intercropping. It aids in the efficient use of land and the suppression of weeds during the early phases of the primary crop.

Strip Intercropping

Strip cropping is the practice of farming two or more crops in wide strips and keeping them separate from each other.

Relay Intercropping

A second crop is planted after the original crop has blossomed but has not been harvested. E.g. Rice-cauliflower-onion-summer gourds.

Advantages of Intercropping

  • The fertility of the soil is kept.
  • Pests and diseases are kept in check.
  • Maximum use of resources.
  • Growing a variety of crops saves space and time.
  • Maximum utilization of soil nutrients.

Crop Rotation

Different crops are planted in a pre-planned succession on equal acres in this strategy. One-year rotation, two-year rotation, and three-year rotation are the three types of crop rotation. Legumes are utilized in crop rotation programs to boost soil fertility. Crops that require a lot of fertilizer are frequently cultivated after legumes. Low-input crops are typically planted after more resource-intensive ones.

How Crops are selected for the Crop Rotation?

For the crop rotation, certain parameters are seen if they fit then those crops are adopted for the crop rotation. The criteria have the following points:

  1. A crop that manages the essential and deficient nutrient concentration in the soil.
  2. Help in holding the soil and preventing soil erosion.
  3. Help in increasing the Soil Organic Matter.
  4. Help in improving the fields and surrounding ecosystem.

Advantages of Crop Rotation

  • The soil fertility is preserved.
  • Weed and pest growth is inhibited.
  • The soil’s physical and chemical qualities are unaffected.
  • Chemical fertilizers are not required.
  • Maintain the soil erosion.
  • As the crop rotates due to the rotation soil gets enough time to restore the nutrients which are needed by the crop for better growth and increase productivity as well.

Factors Affecting Cropping Patterns

  • Agricultural productivity is determined by cropping patterns.
  • Cropping patterns are influenced by changes in agricultural policy, the availability of agricultural inputs, and technological advancements.
  • They are beneficial in improving soil fertility and, as a result, crop yield. Crop protection and fertilizer availability are ensured.

FAQs on Cropping Pattern

Question 1: What are the different types of cropping?


There are 3 types of cropping patterns-

  1. Mono Cropping
  2. Mixed Cropping
  3. Inter Cropping

Question 2: What are Cropping patterns?


As the name suggests, a cropping pattern is a sequence of crop harvest in the area under a particular time interval.

Question 3: What is mariculture or monocropping Apiculture?


Mariculture is the commercial cultivation of marine fishes such as mullets, bhetki, and pearl spots in coastal waters.

Question 4: What is mixed cropping?


Mixed cropping is the practice of simultaneously planting two or more crops on the same area of land. Wheat and gram, for example, wheat and mustard, or groundnut and sunflower.

Question 5: What is the importance of Crop rotation?


Crop rotation helps to improve the soil in various manners, and increase crop productivity. Crop rotation increases soil fertility, and nutrient availability in soil which directly or indirectly positively affects the health and productivity of the crop.

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Last Updated : 26 Dec, 2022
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