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Difference Between Rabi and Kharif Crop

Last Updated : 15 Feb, 2024
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Rabi and Kharif crops are the two major cropping seasons in India. Rabi crops, including wheat and barley, are sown during the winter months, mainly from October to December, and harvested in the spring. In contrast, kharif crops like rice and maize are planted with the arrival of the monsoon in June and are harvested from September to October. These two seasons help ensure a diverse and continuous food supply throughout the year.

Examples of Rabi and Kharif

Difference Between Rabi and Kharif Crop

The difference between the Rabi and Kharif crop is as follows:


           Rabi Crop

Kharif Crop

Sowing Season

Rabi crops are sown during October/November, the end of the monsoon.

Kharif crops are sown in summer (June-July).


Harvested in spring (March-April)

Harvested in autumn (September-October)

Water Source

Rain from western temperate cyclone. Relies on irrigation and residual soil moisture

Primarily dependent on monsoon rains

Essential factors require for growth

Cooler temperatures, moderate moisture

Warm and wet conditions, high rainfall


Rabi crops are long-day plants.

 Kharif crops are short-day plants.

Also known as

Rabi crops are known as Spring crops.

Kharif crops are known as Monsoon crops.


Wheat, Peas, Gram, Mustard, Barley, etc.

Rice, Arhar, Maize, Black gram, etc.

What is Rabi Crops?

Rabi is an Arabic word meaning ‘Spring’. Rabi crops are sown during winter in India and Pakistan that is why they are also known as winter crops. The sowing season generally starts around November and the crops are harvested between March and April which is springtime in the region. Since the monsoon is over by November in these countries, these crops are usually cultivated using irrigation or rainwater that has percolated into the ground. A warm climate is required for seed germination and a cold climate is for the growth of crops. 

Examples of Rabi Crops

  • Mustard
  • Banana
  • Cabbage
  • Pulses
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Linseed

What are Kharif Crops?

Kahrif is a Arabic word meaning ‘Autumn’. Kharif crops are sown at the beginning of the monsoon season, which starts in June and extends into September. They grow well in rain-fed areas with a hot and humid climate. These crops require an ample amount of rainfall for their growth. Adequate and well-distributed rainfall is important for a successful Kharif crop season.

Examples of Kharif Crop

  • Rice
  • Maize
  • Sorghum
  • Pearl millet/Bajra
  • Finger millet/Ragi
  • Arhar
  • Soybean

Also Read: Crop Improvement


India have diversity in its geography, soils, and monsoon patterns, but these variations also make it susceptible to natural disasters that can result in substantial crop losses. For instance, several agricultural regions rely heavily on rainfall, and the absence of it can lead to drought conditions, while in other areas, excessive rainfall can trigger devastating floods. Addressing these challenges requires efforts from both the government and the private sector.

FAQs on Rabi and Kharif Crops

What are Rabi Crops?

Rabi crops are winter crops grown in India and other regions with planting typically occurring between October and December and harvesting starts in the spring, from March to April. Some common Rabi crops include wheat, barley, and mustard.

What are Kharif Crops?

Kharif crops are summer crops sown during the monsoon season, typically between June and July, and harvested in the autumn, around September to October. Major Kharif crops in India include rice, maize, and cotton.

What is Rabi crop Examples?

Rabi crops include wheat, barley, mustard, chickpeas, and lentils, among others.

What is Kharif Crop Examples?

Major Kharif crops include rice, maize, cotton, soybeans, and groundnuts, among others.

What is the difference between Rabi crops and Kharif crops?

Rabi crops are sown in the winter (October-December) and harvested in the spring (March-April), while Kharif crops are planted in the summer (June-July) and harvested in the autumn (September-October).

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