CROP PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT
aheli and Boojho went to their uncle’s house during the summer vacation. Their uncle is a farmer. One day they saw some tools like khurpi, sickle, shovel, plough, etc., in the field.
Food has to be produced on a large scale.
I want to know where and how we use these tools.
In order to provide food for a large population— regular production, proper management and distribution of food is necessary.
You have lear nt that all living organisms require food. Plants can make their food themselves. Can you recall how green plants synthesise their own food? Animals including humans can not make their own food. So, where do animals get their food from? But, first of all why do we have to eat food? You already know that the energy from food is utilised by organisms for carrying out their various body functions, such as digestion, respiration and excretion. We get our food from plants, or animals, or both.
1.1 Agricultural Practices
Till 10,000 B.C. people were nomadic. They were wandering in groups from place to place in search of food and shelter. They ate raw fruits and vegetables and started hunting for animals for food. Later, they could cultivate land and produce rice, wheat and other food crops. Thus, was born ‘Agriculture’.
Since we all need food, how can we provide food to a large number of people in our country?
When plants of the same kind are grown and cultivated at one place on a large scale, it is called a crop. For example, crop of wheat means that all the plants grown in a field are that of wheat. You already know that crops are of different types like cereals, vegetables and fruits. These can be classified on the basis of the season in which they grow. India is a vast country. The climatic conditions like temperature, humidity and rainfall vary from one region to another. Accordingly, there is a rich
variety of crops grown in different parts of the country. Despite this diversity, two broad cropping patterns can be identified. 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 places.
to as agricultural practices. These activities are listed below. (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) (vi) (vii) Preparation of soil Sowing Adding manure and fertilisers Irrigation Protecting from weeds Harvesting Storage
1.3 Preparation of Soil
The preparation of soil is the first step before growing a crop. One of the most important tasks in agriculture is to turn the soil and loosen it. This allows the roots to penetrate deep into the soil. The loose soil allows the roots to breathe easily even when they go deep into the soil. Why does the loosening of soil allow the roots to breathe easily? The loosened soil helps in the growth of earthworms and microbes present in the soil. These organisms are friends of the farmer since they further turn and loosen the soil and add humus to it. But why does the soil need to be turned and loosened? You have learnt in the previous classes that 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, SCIENCE
1.2 Basic Practices of Crop Production
Why can paddy not be grown in the winter season?
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