Kharif and Rabi are the two varieties or group of crops that have been divided based on the season they require to grow. For instance, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Sugarcane, Cotton, Pulses, etc., are such plants that grow in the rainy season and so-known as Kharif crops. On the contrary, Oats, Wheat, Gram, Barley, etc., are such plants that grow in the winter season and so-termed as Rabi crops.
Crops are the plants, grown by the farmers on a large scale, that can be of a same or different kind. These crops require favourable climate for their growth; of course, there are one or numerous types of plants that depend on the same season and can be sown simultaneously with the other crop on the same field.
So, majorly the crops are divided into two types which are ‘Kharif and Rabi’, but there is another type also which are known as ‘Zaid crops‘. The Zaid crops are grown between the season of the kharif and rabi, which is between March and June. Bitter gourd, Watermelon, Pumpkin and Cucumber are categorized as Zaid crops.
However, apart from seasons, various extrinsic and intrinsic factors support the growth of the crops. Extrinsic factors like environmental factors, climate change, socio-economic, biotic or edaphic factors, whereas intrinsic factors include the attack of insects or occurrence of a disease, early maturity, genetic variations, resistance to flood, drought or salinity, effects of insecticides or pesticides.
Mainly this pattern of growing crops is followed by the Asian countries, so in this article, we will be discussing on the points which differentiate the Kharif and Rabi crops with a brief description of them.
Content: Kharif Vs Rabi Crops
|Basis for Comparison
|Such crops that are sown with the onset of the rainy season is known as Kharif crops.
|Such crops that are sown at the beginning of the winter or the end of the monsoon is known as Rabi crops.
|Also known as
|Kharif crops are also known as monsoon crops.
|Rabi crops are also known as spring or winter crops.
|These crops are affected by rainfall.
|These crops do not have any effects of rainfall.
|Favourable (sowing) season
|June - July
|March - April
|September - October
|March - April
|It requires hot weather and a large amount of water to grow.
|Rabi crops need warm climate for germination of seed and cold weather for the growth.
|Cotton, Bajra, Rice, Maize, Jowar, etc.
|Peas, Barley, Wheat, Gram, etc.
Definition of Kharif Crops
Kharif crops, also known as Monsoon crops, are grown during the rainy season, i.e. between June to October. These crops include Rice, Cotton, Bajra, Sugarcane, Groundnut, Jowar, Maize, Pulses, etc. These plants require a lot of water to grow and so they are sown with the onset of monsoon and are harvested at the end of September or in October.
As these crops totally depend on the pattern and timing of the rainfall. Therefore, in India, states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, etc., sowing time is a bit early than the other states. The reason is the arrival of the south-west monsoon over there, which is around the end of the May, and then the monsoon advances towards North and the so there the sowing time is around the end of the June.
Definition of Rabi Crops
Rabi crops, also known as Winter crops, are grown during the winter season, i.e. between October to March. These crops include Wheat, Pulses, Gram, Barley, etc. The word “Rabi’ refers to the spring. As stated the harvesting time of these crops is during the spring season.
These plants do not require much water like Kharif crops, so routine irrigating water is sufficient for them to grow. Even the seeds like Mustard, Sunflower, Cumin, Linseed, Rapeseed, etc., are also grown in this season.
Key Differences Between Kharif and Rabi Crops
Following are the essential points that will highlight the differences between kharif and rabi crops:
- Such crops that are sown with the onset of the rainy season is known as Kharif crops, whereas such crops that are sown at the beginning of the winter or the end of the monsoon is known as Rabi crops.
- Kharif crops are also known as monsoon crops or autumn crops, while Rabi crops are also known as spring or winter crops.
- Kharif crops are affected by the rainfall, as these plants require lots of water to grow. On the contrary, Rabi crops do not have any effects of monsoon.
- Favourable (sowing) season for the Kharif crops is June – July, while Rabi crops are sown in the months March – April
- Harvesting month of the Kharif crops is September – October, whereas Rabi crops are harvested in the month of March – April.
- Kharif crops require hot weather and a large amount of water to grow. On the other hand, Rabi crops need warm climate for germination of seed and cold climate for the growth.
- In the case of Kharif crops, wet and warm weather and shorter day length are favourable for the flowering, wheres in case Rabi crops needs dry and cold weather and longer day length is beneficial for flowering.
- Examples of the Kharif crops are Cotton, Bajra, Rice, Maize, Jowar, etc. , while Peas, Barley, Wheat, Gram, etc., are the example of the Rabi crops.
From this article, we came to about the two critical categories of the plants or crops, i.e. Kharif and Rabi. We also came to know that the reason why few crops are available for such a short duration only. Although the technology has immersed so much and with the support of the government, the farmers can store their crops in the warehouses and make us available as per the requirement.
Another vital point to note is that these patterns of sowing or growing plants are followed in the Asian countries like India, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh as they face the same season all over the time.