Cropping pattern in India, refer to two different views regarding its meaning. On refers to the number of crops grown in a particular area or a field. In this case, the 1 pattern may be mono-cropping, multiple croppirg, etc. The other meaning of cropping pattern is based on the type of crops that are being grown. For example, it may be rice-based, maize-based or wheat based, etc. cropping pattern.

The kharif and the rabi cropping seasons in India are related to this. Monsoon crops in India are called Kharif crops and the post monsoon crops come in the category of the rabi cropping pattern. To categorize the region, a base crop is taken which is normally the main crop grown there and the other crops are known as the substitute crops.

Using these crops as reference, wheat-based, jowar-based are crops grown under rabi season cropping pattern while crops like groundnut, cereals, maize, jowar, cotton are grown under the khariff season cropping pattern.

Types of Cropping Pattern

Mono Cropping:

It refers to growing of same single crop every year on a piece of land. It may be due to specialization of farmer or favorable climatic conditions for the crop. For example, groundnut or cotton plantation requires limited water therefore preferred in less rainfall in rain fed areas.

Multiple Cropping:

Growing of two or more crops in the same year and on same piece of land is called multiple cropping. It includes inter-cropping mixed cropping and sequence cropping.


It refers to simultaneous production of two or more crops in a definite ratio on the same piece of land at the same time. Initially, it was started as insurance against crop failure in rain fed conditions. But now it is done to achieve higher land productivity and output. For successful implementation and resource utilization it requires following considerations:

  • The time of nutrient demand of different crops should not be the same.
  • The crops should not complete for sunlight.
  • They must complement each other.
  • At least a 30 days gap must be there between each harvest.

Mixed Cropping:

It refers to growing of two or more corps without any pattern by mixing the seeds of different crops. It is done to fulfill the multiple needs of a family for cereals, pulses, vegetable, etc.

Sequence Cropping:

It can be defined as growing of two or more crops in sequence one after another during the year on the same piece of land. On the basis of number of crops grown they are called double cropping, triple cropping, etc.

Relay Cropping:

It refers to planting of next crop before harvesting the previous crops.

Ratoon Cropping:

It refers to growing crops which can be regrown through the roots or stalks of the harvested crop.

Integrated Farming System:

It consist of combining many agricultural activities like cultivation, dairying, poultry, fisheries, bee keeping etc. at one place without damaging soil and environment much. The objective behind this is to maximize profit with efficient utilization of scarce land resources.

Reasons Why Cropping Patterns Differ

It has been observed that different cropping pattern is adopted in different regions of the same country. The main reason behind this is the climatic variations and resource availability. Land and water resources are limited especially for a high populated country like India. We need to adopt a highly productive cropping system to fulfill the demand of.our people.

No doubt that climate includes-land, water, weather, temperature etc. that plays an important role in selecting crop pattern. But it is also influenced by many economic factors like irrigation water, cost of input, price of output etc. To raise the cropping intensity and income of small farmers different cropping methods namely multiple cropping, mixed cropping, sequential cropping, integrated farming system are adopted within the country. On the basis of rainfall the cultivated land area can be divided into three categories.

Area with annual rainfall 1150 mm or above: It includes areas of Assam, Kerala, Orissa and West Bengal where irrigation is limited. Here, rice cultivation is the main occupation of farmers.

Area with annual rainfall between 770-1150 mm: it includes large parts of Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. It has great potential for creating small irrigation facilities.

Area with annual rainfall less than 750 mm: It includes Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan. Here, large irrigation facilities are provided but scope of raising cropping intensity is very limited.

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