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What are the Advantages of Multiple Cropping System?

Last Updated : 17 Jul, 2023
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Multiple cropping refers to the practice in which the cultivation of two or more crops is done on the same plot of land during the same growing season. The multiple cropping patterns, there is an increase in agricultural output and also diversifying of the crop mixture for the purposes of both economic and environmental factors.

Cropping is the process of selecting specific plants to grow on a larger field to achieve the desired yield. This can be done manually using tillage tools or machines. Growth decisions are based on many factors, including the desired yield, the space the plant will occupy, and whether the plant is resistant to a particular disease or pest.


Multiple Cropping System

Multi Cropping

The practice of growing two or more crops in the same field per year. Multi-cropping involves enhancing framing in both temporal and spatial dimensions. Proper cropping is a philosophy that maximizes crop yields per acre of land while minimizing deterioration in soil health. It is one of the oldest forms of agriculture and is still widely used today. It involves growing two or more plants on the same land. This is done when the growth cycles of different species overlap for short periods of time.   

A simple form of multi-cropping is sequential seeding, in which the first crop is harvested, and then the second crop is planted and grown. This type of agriculture can be grown as a catch crop with limited growth and yields limited to certain growing seasons.  Often people confuse mixed and plural cultures. Mixed cultivation refers to the cultivation of two or more crops together on the same land without a specific ratio. This is a multi-cropping method in which intercropping crops are grown side by side. They grow on one piece of land in the same year and require less irrigation, traditional seeds, machinery, tools, and equipment. 

One example of multi-cropping is tomatoes and onions. Another example of multi-cropping is the co-cultivation of marigolds. Marigolds help fight tomato pests. Another example is the three American crops: soybeans, corn, and squash. Another example is the cultivation of wheat, gram, and mustard in North India. There are too many other examples of multi-pruning because this method is still widely used around the world.

Advantages of Multiple Cropping

The advantages of multiple cropping are as follows:

  1. Increase in productivity per unit area, time, cost, and total output, with an increase in farmer’s gross income.
  2. Fast turnover improved the annual income distribution resulting in increased reuse of working capital.
  3. Increase overall employment and labor distribution and other use of capital throughout the year, and increase opportunities to grow, preserve, process, and market seeds on farms.
  4. Minimize erosion and soil degradation.
  5. Maximum Possible Land Use, Manure, Fertilizer, Moisture, and Residual Impacts of Management Practices.
  6. Minimize rental, irrigation, and other attributable costs per unit of output.
  7. Improved selection and substitution of crop varieties according to agroecological conditions, crop patterns, and programs according to domestic demand and market competition.
  8. The reduced fallow period has improved weed control almost completely.
  9. Improving farm nutrition through crop diversification.
  10. Employment opportunities have been created for agricultural workers and others involved in the processing and marketing of agricultural products.

Multiple Cropping Philosophy

The philosophy of multiple cropping is based on the following concepts:   

  • High productivity is good for the soil.
  • Minimizing tillage makes the soil brittle and retains soil organic matter to achieve good physical conditions.
  • Living Mulch provides protection from all forms of erosion and weeds.  
  • Proper management of manure and fertilizer residues.
  • Consistent harvesting allows for efficient use of land, labor, capital, and other available resources.
  • There is an opportunity to increase production with higher yields.

Multiple Cropping Index (MCI)

While considering production economies, the Multi-Crop Index (MCI) is defined as the ratio of the total area cropped in a year to the land area available for cultivation. A value of 3 or higher is the most promising farm. This is also called intensive cultivation.

Types Of Multiple Cropping

The types of multiple cropping include:

Sequential cropping system 

Continuous cultivation of two or more crops in the same field in a year is called continuous cultivation. The next crop is planted after the previous crop has been harvested. crop strengthening only in the temporal dimension; There is no competition between cultures. A farmer grows only one crop at a time in one field. 

Types of Sequential Cropping

  • Double cropping: Successive cultivation of two crops per year, such as wheat, potatoes, or mustard, followed by rice; corn followed by peanuts; wheat, then cotton is called double cropping. The strength of the crop in this situation is 200%.
  • Triple Cropping: Growing 3 crops in a row (or in succession)  in a year to reach 300% harvest intensity is called triple cropping. Example: rice-potato-rice; Rice – potato – copper or copper – mustard – jute.
  • Quadruple cropping: Growing 4 crops in a row in a year.
  • Ratoon cropping: Cultivation of post-harvest regrowth crops (but not necessarily for crops).

Intercropping System

Growing two or more crops at the same time in the same field is called intercropping. Intensification of crops is carried out both in temporal and spatial dimensions. Competition between crops occurs during all or part of the growing period of the crop.

Intercropping is an old practice used by subsistence farmers, especially in rainy conditions. This helps create a balanced diet, reduces labor peaks, and minimizes the risk of crop failure. It has also been suggested that intercropping reduces the adverse effects of pests, provides higher benefits, and protects the soil from erosion.

Types of Intercropping

  • Mixed Intercropping: Grow two or more crops at the same time without clear rows.
  • Row Intercropping: Grow more than one crop at the same time. One or more crops are planted in a row. 
  • Strip Intercropping: Simultaneously grow two or more crops on different strips, wide enough to grow independently but narrow enough for the agricultural interactions of the crops.
  • Relay Intercropping: Cultivating two or more crops simultaneously for part of each life cycle; The second crop is planted after it has reached the reproductive growth stage before the first is ready to harvest.

Disadvantages of Multiple Cropping

  1. This interferes with seed production.  
  2. This interferes with cross-cultural work.
  3. Reduces soil nutrient levels.
  4. Causes problems with the adaptation of farm mechanization.
  5. Interspecies competition occurs in some prolific systems.

Related Links

  1. Cropping Patterns
  2. Advantages between Mixed cropping and intercropping
  3. Types of Farming in India
  4. Types of Agriculture in India

FAQs on Advantages of Multiple Cropping

Q 1. What are multiple cropping advantages?


The advantages of multiple cropping include minimizing the pest problems and also efficient use of resources.

Q 2. What is the importance of multiple cropping?


The importance of multiple cropping is that it aids in enhancing the land’s yield.

Q 3. What are the 5 advantages of mixed cropping?


The 5 advantages of mixed cropping include:

  1. Farmers can keep fields in continuous production.
  2. It enhances the productivity of farmland.
  3. It increases the per capita profitability.
  4. It reduces dependency on external inputs.
  5. Both farming tend to compliment each other.

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