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Harvesting

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  • Last Updated : 05 Sep, 2022
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Agriculture is the science, which mainly deals with the diverse process or strategies used for the development various of plants and animal cultivation or animal farming based on human necessities. At the point when plants of a similar variety are developed on a large scale, they are called crops. They are divided  based on the seasons in which they develop:

  1. Kharif crop: these crops are planted in the early season, which is generally different by crop and region of cultivation. In India, Kharif crops have sown at the start of the rainy season, between the period of June and July. These crops are harvested at the end of the monsoon season, between the period of September and October. Paddy is the main Kharif crop.
  2. Rabi Crops-These crops are planted in winter and after the monsoon, which is between the month of October and November. In India, Rabi crops are harvested in the spring season between the month of March and April.  the main Rabi crop is Wheat. 

Methods of crop production and management

the production and the management of crops is a significant point to ensure optimal productivity in the fields. The major agriculture practices engaged with crop production and management are listed below:

  • Preparing of soil: The soil is loosened and leaned before the seeds are planted. Ploughs are used for planting seeds. In the event that the soil contains big lumps, they are broken with the help of a hoe. This process circulates air through the soil so the roots breathe easily. The nutrients and minerals get easily blended in with the soil and come to the top. , the fertility of the soil grows and is fit for plantation.
  • Sowing of seeds: the good quality seeds sown in the land. At proper depth and distance. 
  • Addition of manure and fertilizers: The soil may not have the right amount of nutrients to efficiently help plant growth. Hence, manures and fertilizers are added to the soil to increase fertility and help plants grow well. Manure is prepared by using decomposing plant and animal matter in compost pits. Fertilizers, on the other hand, are chemicals prepared in factories that contain nutrients for a specific plant. It gives faster results. But it has to be used in limited quantity, otherwise, the soil gets infertile. 
  • Irrigation: Crops require water for proper growth. The supply of water to the plants is known as irrigation. Sources of irrigation are Well, rivers, lakes, and tube well The traditional methods of agriculture involve the use of humans and animals. The modern technique of irrigation is the drip system
  • Protection of weeds: The unwanted plants that develop alongside the yields are called weeds. These weeds feed on the nutrients given to the crop thus decreasing the supply of nutrients to the crop, in this manner, inhibiting their growth.
    Removing weeds is called weeding. weedicides are used to destroy weeds, they are sprayed before seeding. 

Harvesting

When the crop matures, it is cut for further process. This is known as harvesting. It is done by labor and with the sickle, mechanical harvesting is used these days – machines such as combine harvesters are used. Harvesting depends on many factors like season, crop variety, maturity period, etc. Reaping is the cutting of crops for harvest, by using a scythe, sickle, or reaper.

Manually harvesting is done by using sickles but it is an unvaried job as well as time taking. In recent times, machines called harvesters are used for harvesting, especially wide-ranging farming harvesting, threshing of the crop has to be carried out. 

Threshing is the procedure, in which, the collected grains are separated from the husks by beating or by the threshing machine. In small-scale farming, husks and grains are separated from each other by a procedure called winnowing. Harvesting is contemplated as a festival in most parts of the country. It is a time of joy where the fruits of the hard work of farmers come into reality. harvesting festivals are Pongal, Bihu, etc.

Methods of harvesting

  • Manual harvesting: Hand harvesting is a technique for manually or by hand picking grains, fruits, vegetables, leaves, etc.
  • Harvesting with Hand Tools: Crops are harvested by farmers using a few tools. Harvesting using hand tools includes using a little axe, a big axe, a darat, a gandasa, a small sickle, etc.
  • Machine harvesting: Machine harvesting is the practice of gathering large quantities of grains with the aid of contemporary harvesters. A contemporary harvester can work in tandem with other massive gear to simultaneously cut and clean the grains.

Harvesting Process Stages

  1. Reaping: Reaping is the process of removing mature panicles and straws that have grown above the ground.
  2. Threshing: Threshing is the process of separating the food grains—such as paddy, wheat, etc.—from the rest of the cut crop.
  3. Cleaning: Cleaning is a crucial step in the harvesting process, and it largely entails figuring out how to get immature and non-grain particles, dust, and other contaminants out of edible food grains.
  4. Stacking/Piling: Stacking is a technique for piling or stacking harvested crops for storage.
  5. Bagging: The final step in the harvesting process is bagging. For storage and transportation, the threshed grains are kept in gunny bags.
  6. Storage: Small-scale farmers use the harvested crop for their own consumption, whereas large-scale production is mostly used for marketing. As a result, the farmers must store the grains. For this, suitable storage space must be set up. A significant loss of grain might result from inadequate storage space and poor storage practices.

In addition to insects and rodents, the stored grains may be attacked by bacteria, fungi, and environmental factors including moisture and temperature. Therefore, the grains must be properly treated before being stored. Pesticides can be used to stop rodent infestations. Fungal growth on grains is a result of a damp environment. Grain drying properly in the sun will prevent this.

Fumigation is another technique that uses chemicals to stop bacteria and other microbes. Grain must be properly treated before being kept in granaries or gunny sacks and placed in godowns. As a result, it is clear how crucially vital grain harvesting and storage are to crop productivity.

Principles for Harvesting

Farmers observe the following principles when harvesting:

  • Using a Sharp to Slice Sharp Edge. 
  • Rough Serrated Edge to Tear. 
  • High-Velocity Impact on a Single Element with Sharp or Dull Edges. 
  • Two-Element Shearing or Scissor Type Cutting. 

Importance 

  • Utilizing cutting-edge technology to harvest crops decreases grain waste and improves grain quality and quantity.
  • To preserve the quality of the fruits and ensure that the tools being used don’t harm the plant, the direction in which fruits, grains, and vegetables are chopped during harvest is crucial.
  • The quality of grains or seed protection is enhanced by harvesting at the proper time.

FAQs on Harvesting

Question 1: What are the steps involved in crop production?

Answer: 

These are the steps of crop production:

  • Ploughing
  • Sowing
  • Adding manures
  • Irrigation
  • Harvesting
  • Storage

Question 2: What is the importance of crop production?

Answer:

Crop production supports the huge population of a country. All human beings depend on crops for their food. It also gives employment to a large number of people.

Question 3: What are threshing and winnowing? 

Answer:

  • Threshing- The separation of grains from the harvested crops is called threshing. It is done by mechanically or by cattle.
  • Winnowing- The separation of grains and husk is called winnowing. It is done either mechanically or manually.

Question 4: What are the methods of harvesting? 

Answer:

  • Hand Harvesting.
  • Harvesting with Hand Tools.
  • Harvesting with Machinery.

Question 5: What are hand harvesting tools? 

Answer:

Crops are harvested by farmers using a few tools. Harvesting using hand tools includes using a little axe, a big axe, a darat, a gandasa, a small sickle, etc.

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