What do you understand by Relay Cropping? Discuss its advantages and disadvantages vis-à-vis other cropping patterns.

Hint: In Relay cropping second crop is planted even before the first crop is harvested. Thus, both crops share some part of the season. In India, Rice –cauliflower – onion-summer gourd is one example of relay cropping.
Advantages:

  • Less risk since yields do not depend on one crop alone.
  • Better distribution of labor.
  • Some diseases and insects appear to spread less rapidly under intercropping.
  • Better erosion control due to better ground cover.
  • Any legumes involved may add some nitrogen to the soil.

Disadvantages:

  • Mechanization is difficult.
  • Management requirements are higher.
  • Overall costs per unit of production may be higher due to reduced efficiency in planting, weeding and harvesting.
Question for UPSC Mains:
What do you understand by Relay Cropping? Discuss its advantages and disadvantages vis-à-vis other cropping patterns.

Published: October 27, 2015 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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