India, being a country with diverse climatic conditions, has several seasons of farming. The planting time for the crops vary depending on the type of crop, seasons, region and climate. In India, crops are commonly classified into three seasons of planting which are Kharif, Rabi and Zaid. Kharif season, also known as the monsoon season typically starts in June and ends in September. Rabi season or winter season runs from October to March. Zaid or Summer cropping season runs from March to June. The different seasons of farming in India provide an opportunity for farmers to diversify their crops and income sources, contributing to the overall agricultural growth of the country.
Total area under cultivation of summer or zaid crops have increased progressively 2.7 times from 29.71 lakh hectares in the year 2017 – 18 to 80.46 lakh hectares in 2020 – 21. By following proper management techniques and investing in the right crops, farmers can increase their yield and profit margins during the summer season.
Zaid or Summer Cropping Season:
Zaid crops are the crops grown during summer season from March to June. They are short duration crops mostly comprising hybrids. Crops that are adapted to the hot and dry weather conditions of summer are planted in this season. The crops that require warmer weather for vegetative growth and longer day length for reproductive growth such as cucumber, watermelon, muskmelon, bhendi, bitter gourd, brinjal, black gram, green gram, pumpkin and tomato are usually grown during zaid season.
Explore why growing of zaid crops can be a smart choice:
Some of the features of crops grown in the zaid/summer season include:
- Summer crops have short growing duration and can be harvested within 60 – 90 days after sowing. This allows farmers to grow multiple crops in a year, increasing their income.
- These crops can withstand hot and dry conditions of the summer season and are typically drought and heat stress tolerant.
- Zaid crops requires less water than kharif and rabi crops, thus making them suitable for cultivation in areas with limited water availability.
- Despite their short duration, zaid crops can give higher yields if proper management practices are followed.
- They can provide an additional source of income for farmers during the lean period between kharif and rabi seasons
- Zaid crops are less prone to pests and diseases, as the dry conditions of the summer season make it difficult for pests and diseases to thrive.
- Zaid crops such as watermelon and muskmelon have high market demand during the summer season, which can provide good returns for the farmers.
- Cultivation of summer crops helps to improve soil health. For instance, growing of leguminous pulses and oilseeds can act as soil conditioner.
- Growing these crops helps in diversification of agriculture by reducing the dependence on single crop. This can help mitigate the risk of crop failure due to factors such as climate change, pests and disease infestation.
- Farmers can compensate the losses incurred due to heavy rainfall during kharif and rabi seasons by cultivation of summer crops.
- Many zaid crops such as watermelon, cucumber, muskmelon, pumpkin and bitter gourd are rich in vitamins and minerals, thus making them a nutritional addition to the diet.
- Summer crops such as maize and soybean are used as animal feed.
Maximize the yield of your summer crops by using these hybrid seeds:
Summer crops play a vital role in ensuring food security and supporting the livelihoods of farmers in many regions. While challenges such as water scarcity and high temperatures may make summer crop cultivation more difficult. Choosing the right crops, seeds and cultivation techniques can help increase yield and maximize profits. Zaid or summer season crops, such as watermelon, cucumber and muskmelon can provide farmers with an opportunity to diversify their income and adopt sustainable farming practices. Additionally, buying the right variety or hybrid seeds can help ensure optimal yield and make summer crop growth profitable.