2. What is Cropping System? Its Objectives and Types?

Definition, Types and objectives of Cropping System.
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Cropping System topic Flow Chart
Cropping System topic Flow Chart

What is Cropping System?

Definition: It is defined as the cropping pattern and its specific management over a period.  It is location-specific.


  • stability in production 
  • utilisation of resources 
  • higher returns

Types of Cropping Systems:

  1. Mixed System: It is the sowing of two or more crops without specific row differentiation in a field at the same time.

Example: Groundnut and sunflower together.

Advantage:  it minimizes the risk of complete crop loss in case one crop is destroyed due to some reasons. 

Disadvantage: crop operations become difficult.

  1. Intercropping: It is the sowing of two or more crops in a field with a specific row differentiation at the same time.

It has a few subtypes:

2.1 Parallel Intercropping:  Sowing two or more crops parallel to each other. Example: Black Gram(A) + Wheat(B)

[A= A+B]

         2.2 Companion Intercropping: Companion crops are those which do not compete with each other for moisture, space, or nutrients.

     Example: Mustard/Potato/Maize(A) + Sugarcane(B)

     [A= A+B]

      2.3 Multilevel Intercropping: These are crops that occupy different spaces in terms of height. 

Example Mustard(A)+ Sugarcane(B) + Potato(C)

[A< A+B+C]


2.4 Synergetic Intercropping: When the yield of both crops is more than pure crop. Example: Sugarcane(A) + Potato(B)

[A= A+B]

    2.5 On basis of percentage of the crop:

  • ADDITIVE: One Base crop + additive/inter crop
  • REPLACEMENT: Component A + Component B
  1. Sequential System: The first crop is harvested before the second crop is sown. Example: Wheat-Rice system
  1. Relay Cropping System: The second crop is sown even before the first crop is harvested and so on. In this system, a part of the crop life cycle coincides with another crop. Example: Maize-Potato-Chilli System

Click here to know about the difference between Cropping and Farming System and other related concepts

Click here to know about Crop Rotation

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