What Makes The Zaid Crop The Most Profitable Farming Season?
In agriculture, the three main seasons are Rabi, Kharif, and Zaid. Rabi and Kharif are two seasons that coincide and have a substantial impact on the agriculture economy.
However, there is another season known as the Zaid Season that occurs between Rabi and Kharif, and the crops grown during this season are known as Zaid Seasoned Crops.
After the Rabi season concludes and the Kharif season begins, farmers prepare for the Zaid season, which spans from March through June.
Because it falls between the main farming seasons of rabi and Kharif, the Zaid crop has a shorter growing season than other Zaid crops.
Cultivation sites for Zaid Crops.
Zaid crops are grown in several parts of India, depending on the state's irrigation.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu are the states in question.
List the crops that were grown during the Zaid season.
Watermelon, muskmelon, cucumber, bitter gourd, fodder, pumpkin, cluster beans, strawberry, arhar, and Masur sugarcane are among the fruits and vegetables grown in Masur.
Zaid Season Crops Characteristics
- Summer crops, also known as zaid crops, are grown in places where monsoons are not a problem. It is because of this that they are cultivated on irrigated land.
- Sugarcane is a short-term crop that is harvested after a year of cultivation.
- Farmers benefit from Zaid crops because they provide a consistent source of revenue and bridge the "gap" between the Rabi and Kharif seasons.
- Zaid crops require dry weather and irrigation to be harvested successfully. Short-term crop planting begins in February and continues through April, allowing the land to prepare for Kharif sowing in June after the monsoon arrives.
- Zaid crops demand dry, warm temperatures throughout the primary growing stage, as well as longer days during the flowering stage. Because the months of March and June are warm, dry, and have longer days, they are ideal for these crops.
- Seasonal fruits and vegetables are planted in March and April and harvested in June and July, making Zaid Season a major seasoned crop. They keep growers finances happy while simultaneously providing nutrition to the eventual consumer's plate.
What is the significance of Zaid or Summer Crops?
- Summer crops not only increase cropping intensity and thus land utilization, but they also provide farmers with additional income.
- Pulses sown in the summer rejuvenate the soil and raise farmer revenue, in addition to grains grown in the summer, which improve food security.
- Several fodders are cultivated during the summer to provide food for cattle. Summer fruits, vegetables, and oilseeds are planted not just to promote nutrient security, but also because they are cost-effective.
The crop's requirements
Many conditions must be met in order for the Zaid or summer crops to flourish or be cultivated.
1. The soil
The most important aspect in determining the crop's cultivation, harvest, and quality is the soil quality. Zaid season crops prefer well-drained sandy or loamy soil rich in organic content, which is perfect for the crop. The soil must be rich in nutrients.
The pH of the soil should be between 6 and 7, and it should not be alkaline. Soils with high salt levels are not ideal for cultivation.
2. Irrigational infrastructure that are more efficient
Zaid crops require at least one irrigation to ensure adequate plant establishment because they are planted in the pre-monsoon season, when there is minimal chance of rain. Short-duration cultivars of summer rice, pulses, oilseeds, and small millets, in addition to short-duration vegetable crops, can be grown depending on irrigation facilities.
3. Optimal weather conditions
Long days, dry weather, and plenty of sunshine are required for summer harvests. Temperatures between 23 and 25°C are ideal for germination.
The seeds will not germinate if the soil temperature is below 10°C. Temperatures between 20 and 32°C are good for growth and fruit development. When the temperature exceeds 45°C, the fruits become sunburned and have a lower shelf life.
Groundnut thermal time needs range from 1800 to 2400 degree-days (at a base temperature of 10°C.) or heat units, depending on the cultivar.
During the cultivation of Zaid or summer crops, how are they protected from animals?
Rogue cattle inflict the biggest crop damage in Zaid/summer crops, which are sown after Rabi crops have been harvested in most areas. Wild animals such as blue bulls, wild boars, monkeys, deer, elephants, and others, in addition to wandering cattle, are responsible for destroying farmers crops after Rabi season, when only a few fields are covered with crops.
During this season, pulse and oilseed cultivation should be encouraged, and strategies for reducing damage from cattle and wild animals should be established.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research's vertebrate pest management solutions, notably for rats and birds, are extremely effective and should be widely disseminated to protect crops from these pests.
The ICAR-All India Network Project on Vertebrate Pest Management is in charge of spreading this technology to farmers.
Such harm, on the other hand, is not limited to a single farmer or town, demanding a community-based strategy to control, for which State Governments must adopt legislative laws.
The government's initiative to recognise and promote the significance of the Zaid Season
The government is playing a significant part in inspiring and expanding the growth of the Zaid crop, which has supplied the Indian economy with highly beneficial benefits.
The government has a number of policies and plans in place for the development of summer crops such as pulses, oilseeds, coarse grains, and cereals.
Summer crops provide an extra source of cash for the government, as well as work chances for farmers who were previously underemployed or unemployed while waiting for the following season.
The current focus on Zaid crops has paid off handsomely, as the area under cultivation has been continuously growing for the previous several years.
Zaid planting, which mostly comprises of pulses, covers less than 2% of the land compared to Kharif sowing, which covers 107 million hectares. In Kharif, 12 million hectares of pulses are planted, whereas in Rabi, 14 million hectares are planted.
As a result, producing summer crops whenever possible is crucial.