Difference between Rabi and Kharif crops of India

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In India, there are two major cropping seasons, Rabi cropping season and Kharif cropping season. Each of them favors a set of crops to grow. The crops that are sown before the winter season (October – November) are Rabi Crops. The crops that are sown beginning of monsoon season or rainy season (June – July) are Kharif crops. The three cropping seasons are Rabi, Kharif, and Zaid, which completes the whole sowing cycle in India.

Rabi Crops

Rabi crops are sown in the Winter season and harvested in the Spring season. Rabi crops are grown in the winter season, so reliability on water is most. As there won’t be enough rains, irrigation needs to be taken care of. The word Rabi is derived from Arabic for “Spring”. So the Rabi harvest is done in the spring season. The cold and dry climate is best suited for Rabi crops.

Rabi crops are also called as Winter crops.

Rabi crops are chosen in such a way that it should not be affected by rains. Some of the main Rabi Crops of India include Wheat, Chickpea, mustard, linseed, oats, barley, Sesame, Peas, Sunflower, Coriander, Onion, Potato, Tomato, alfalfa, cumin, mustard, fenugreek, fennel – 10 examples of Rabi crops.

Kharif Crops

Kharif crops are sown beginning of Monsoon season and harvested at the end of the monsoon season. The Kharif crops have enough rains to sustain. Kharif crops should be sown with the beginning for the first rains. Kharif crops require a hot and wet climate.

Kharif Crops are also called as  Monsoon crops.

Kharif crops are Monsoon dependent. The sowing period changes based on the Monsoon rainfall. At the beginning of the first Monsoon, the sowing of Kharif crops start.

Some of the main Kharif crops of India include Rice(Paddy), Maize, Groundnut, cotton, Soybean, Pigeon Pea(arhar), Mung bean, Red chilies, Sugarcane, Turmeric, Millets like Ragi, Jowar, Bajra – 10 examples of Kharif crops.

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Difference between Rabi and Kharif crops of India

The difference between Kharif and rabi crops based on sowing time, harvesting time, crops to grow and water requirement.

  1. Crops that are sown with the beginning of monsoon season or Rainy Season are Kharif crops. Crops which are sown in the winter season or after the monsoon season is Rabi crops.
  2. Kharif crops require a hot and wet climate. The cold and dry climate is best suited for Rabi crops.
  3. Kharif crops require shorter days but longer nights. Kharif crops are called as short-day plants. The flowers bloom in the month of September-October where the days are shorter. So the uninterrupted darkness allows Kharif crops flowers to bloom. Rabi crops require less darkness( longer day). Rabi crops are called as long-day plants. The flowers bloom in the month of March- April where the days are longer. So the less amount of darkness allows Rabi crops flowers to bloom.
  4. Kharif crops sowing months are June – July. Rabi crops sowing months are October – November.
  5. Kharif crops harvesting months are September – October. Rabi crops harvesting months are March – April.
COMPARISONKHARIF CROPSRABI CROPS
MeaningKharif in Arabic means Autumn. Crops that are sown with the beginning of monsoon rain are Kharif crops.Rabi in Arabic means Spring. Crops that are harvested in the Spring season are Rabi Crops. Rabi crops are sown right after the end of monsoon.
Crops Rice(Paddy), Maize, Groundnut, cotton, Soybean, Pigeon pea(arhar), Mung bean, Red chilies, Sugarcane, Turmeric, Millets Wheat, Chickpea, mustard, linseed, oats, barley, Sesame, Peas, Sunflower, Coriander, Onion, Potato, Tomato, alfalfa, cumin, mustard, fenugreek, fennel
Sowing monthJune – JulyOctober – November
Harvesting monthSeptember – OctoberMarch – April
Key DemandKharif crops require a lot of water and warm weather to grow.Rabi crops require warm weather for seed germination but cold winters to grow.
FloweringRequire shorter day lengthRequire longer day length
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