Kharif crops are usually sown with the beginning of the first rains towards the end of May in the southern state of Kerala during the advent of south-west monsoon season. As the monsoon rains advance towards the north India, the sowing dates vary accordingly and reach July in north Indian states.

These crops are dependent on the quantity of rainwater as well its timing. Too much, too little or at wrong time may lay waste the whole year’s efforts. Common kharif crops-  Rice (paddy and deepwater) Millet Maize (corn).


Common kharif crops

  • Rice (paddy and deepwater)
  • Millet
  • Maize (corn)
  • Moong
  • turmeric
  • groundnut
  • cotton




Rabi crops or Rabi harvest are agricultural crops sown in winter and harvested in the spring in the South Asia. The term is derived from the Arabic word for “spring”, which is used in the Indian subcontinent, where it is the spring harvest (also known as the “winter crop”).

The rabi crops are sown around mid-November, after the monsoon rains are over, and harvesting begins in April/May. The crops are grown either with rainwater that has percolated into the ground, or with irrigation. A good rain in winter spoils the rabi crops but is good for kharif crops.

The major rabi crop in India is wheat, followed by barley, mustard, sesame and peas. Peas are harvested early, as they are ready early: Indian markets are flooded with green peas from January to March, peaking in February.

Many crops are cultivated in both kharif and rabi seasons. The agriculture crops produced in India are seasonal in nature and highly dependent on these two monsoons.

  • wheat (Triticum aestvium)
  • oat (Avena sativa)
  • barley
Seed plants
  • alfalfa (Lucerne, Medicago sativa)
  • linseed
  • sesame
  • cumin (Cuminum cyminum, L)
  • coriander (Coriandrum sativum, L)
  • mustard (Brassica juncea L.)
  • fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
  • fenugreek (Trigonella foenumgraecum, L)
  • isabgol (Plantago ovata)
  • pea
  • chickpea (Gram, Cicer arientinum)
  • onion (Allium cepa, L.)
  • tomato (Solanum lycopersicum, L)
  • potato (Solanum tuberosum)



In the Indian sub-continent, the crops grown on irrigated lands which do not have to wait for monsoons, in the short duration between Rabi and Kharif crop season, mainly from March to June, are called Zaid crops (also written as Zayid crops). These crops are grown mainly in the summer season during a period called the “Zayid crop season.” They require warm dry weather for major growth period and longer day length for flowering. The main produce are seasonal fruits and vegetables.

  • Water melon
  • cucumber
  • muskmelon
  • sunflower
  • sugarcane