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Current Category » Farming Systems & Sustainable Agriculture

Classifications of Cropping System

Classifications of Cropping System:

Depending on the resources and technology available, different types of cropping systems are adopted on farms, which are as below.

Mono-cropping or Single Cropping: Mono-cropping refers to growing only one crop on a particular land year after year. Or Practice of growing only one crop in a piece of land year after year e.g. growing only rabbi crops in dry lands or only said crops in diary lands (Lands situated in river basins which often remain flooded during rainy season). This is due to climatologically and socio economic conditions or due to specialization of a farmer in growing a particular crop.

Groundnut or cotton or sorghum is grown year due to limitation of rainfall. Flue-cured tobacco is grown in Günter (A.P.) due to specialization of a farmer in growing a particular crop. Rice crop is grown, as it is not possible to grow any other crops, in canal irrigated areas, and under water logged conditions.

Monoculture: Practice of repetitive growing only crop irrespective of its intensity as rice-rice-rice in Kerala, West Bengal and Orissa.

Sole Cropping: One crop variety grown alone in pure stand at normal density.

Multiple Cropping or Polycropping: It is a cropping system where two or three crops are gown annually on the same piece of land using high input without affecting basic fertility of the soil.

Growing two or more crops on the same piece of land in one calendar year known as multiple cropping. It is the intensification of cropping in time and space dimensions i.e. more number of crops within a year and more number of crops on the same piece of land at any given period. It includes inter-cropping, mixed cropping and sequence cropping.

Molested (1954) has mentioned that multiples cropping is a philosophy of maximum crop production per acre of land with minimum of soil deterioration.
1) Rice-potato-green gram.
2) Rice-mustard-maize.
3) Rice-potato-sesame.
4) Jut-rice-potato.

Cropping intensity is more that 200 per cent when the farm as a whole is considered; the Multiple Cropping Index (MCI) is determined by the number of crops and total area planted divided by the total arable area. When the value is three or more, it is said to be most promising farm. This is also called as intensive cropping.

1. Polyculture: Cultivation of more than two types of crops grown together on a piece of land in a crop season.
e.g. 1) Subabul + Papaya + Pigeon pea + Dinanath grass.
2) Mango + Pine apple + Turmeric
3) Banana + Marigold + berseem.

Relay Cropping: Growing the succeeding crop when previous crop attend its maturity stage-or-sowing of the next crop immediately after the harvest of the standing crops. Or it is a system of cropping where one crop hands over land to the crop in quick succession.
E.g. 1) Paddy-lathers
2) Paddy-Lucerne.
3) Cotton-Berseem.
4) Rice-Cauliflower-Onion-summer gourds.

Overlapping Cropping: In this system, the succeeding crop is sown in the standing crop before harvesting. Thus, in this system, one crop is sown before the harvesting of preceding crops. Here the lucre and berseem are broadcasted in standing paddy crop just before they are ready for harvesting.


1. Minimum tillage is needed for relay cropping and primary cost of cultivation is less.
2. Weed infestation is less, as land is engaged with crops year round.
3. Crop residues are added in the soil and thus more organic matter.
4. Residual fertilizer of previous crops benefits succeeding crops.

Current Category » Farming Systems & Sustainable Agriculture