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Difference between Kharif and Rabi Crops

Crop refers to plants of same origin or type that are sown at one place on a large scale. Each crop requires specific climatic conditions for proper growth. However, some crops that require similar climatic conditions can be sown in the same season. The main seasonal plants are divided into two broad categories, e.g. crops that are sown at the beginning of the rainy season or monsoon, are called Kharif crops and the crops that are sown at the beginning of winter season are called Rabi crops. Let us see how Kharif crops differ from Rabi Crops!

Kharif Crops:

Kharif crops, which are also known as monsoon crops, are the crops which are grown during the monsoon or rainy season (June to October). Their seeds are sown at the beginning of the monsoon season and the crops are harvested at the end of the monsoon season.

Kharif crops depend on the rainfall patterns. The timing and quantity of rainwater are the two important factors that decide the output of Kharif crops. The main Kharif crops grown in India include paddy, maize, jowar, bajra, cotton, sugarcane, groundnut, pulses etc.

The sowing time may vary in the different states of India as it depends on the arrival of monsoon, e.g. in southern states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu the seeds are usually sown towards the end of May and in northern states like Punjab, Haryana the seeds are sown in the month of June.

Rabi Crops:

Rabi crops, which are also known as winter crops, are the crops that are grown in the winter season (October or November). Their seeds are sown at the beginning of the winter season and crop is harvest at the end of the winter season or in the spring season.

The rabi crops are cultivated in the dry season so timely irrigation is required to grow these crops. Some of the main rabi crops of India include wheat, gram, oat, barley, potato, and seeds like mustard, linseed, sunflower, coriander, cumin, etc.

Some of the key differences between Kharif and Rabi crops are as follows:

Kharif Crops Rabi Crops
Kharif crops are the crops which are sown at the beginning of the rainy season, e.g. between April and May. Rabi crops are the crops that are sown at the end of monsoon or at the beginning of winter season, e.g. between September and October.
These crops are known as monsoon crops. These crops are also known as winter or spring crops.
These crops depend on the rainfall patterns. These crops are not affected by the rainfall.
Major Kharif crops are rice, maize, cotton, jowar, bajra etc. Major Rabi crops are wheat, gram, peas, barley etc.
It requires a lot of water and hot weather to grow. A warm climate is required for seed germination and cold climate for the growth of crops.
Flowering requires shorter day length. Flowering requires longer day length.
Harvesting months from September to October. Harvesting months from March to April.
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