Uttar Pradesh, commonly known as UP, lies in the northern spout of India. Surrounded by the Himalayas in the north, UP boasts the fourth-largest Indian state in terms of land. Blessed with fertile land, of which the cultivation land is more than 16.5 million hectares, and the mighty rivers- Ganga and Yamuna, agriculture naturally becomes the occupation for most of the residents. So much so that, agriculture is also termed as the backbone of Uttar Pradesh’s economy. The majority of the country’s food grains and vegetables are grown in UP.

If we talk about the climate, then it is majorly subtropical. The state receives a good amount of rainfall ranging from 40 to 80 inches in the eastern parts, and 24 to 39 inches in the western parts. Such climatic conditions, and fertile land, make it favourable to grow crops like barley, potato, lentils, wheat, and sugarcane.

Let us have a close look at some of these cash crops.

1. Sugarcane

Sugarcane juice, commonly known as ‘Ganne ka ras’- which is quite popular among Indians- is synonymous with summers, for its cooling and refreshing nature. Similarly, sugarcane and Uttar Pradesh are synonymous. Let us show you how!

With around 22 crore tonnes of sugarcane production, UP stands out as the largest sugarcane-growing state in India. As per the UP govt., there are around 120 sugar mills in the state. Convinced, yet?

This crop is cultivated October-November and takes 10 to 18 months to harvest. Temperature between 32-34°C favors sugarcane production. Whereas ripening requires relatively less temperatures like 12-14°C. A humid climate might attract pests and affect the yield.

UP loves sugarcane. Around 40 lakh families engage themselves in sugarcane production in this state!

2. Rice

Rajma rice or Biryani, you may choose to be on anyone’s side. But you will have to appreciate the fact that our country is the second-largest rice producer in the world. In fact, more than half of India’s population depends upon rice as a staple. There are more than 6000 varieties of rice present in India. And you must be aware of the internationally known ‘Basmati rice’. But are you aware of the growing conditions of this crop?

Rice cultivation requires fertile land with deep clayey and loamy soil. The temperature requirement is between 22-32°C with high humidity. Rainfall between 150-300 cm would be adequate. Uttar Pradesh is among the top rice-producing states, with West Bengal and Punjab leading their way

3. Wheat

Wheat has lately become the new fitness-fad grain, replacing ‘maida’ or flour.

The wheat crop is sown during low temperatures between 10 and 15°C and harvested when the temperature ranges from 21-26°C, during bright sunny days, with 75-100 cm of rainfall. Well-drained loamy and clayey loamy soil is the best-suited soil type for the good production of wheat. It is vulnerable to extreme climatic conditions like low moisture levels and high temperatures, which might destroy the crop.

UP emerges as one of the topmost wheat-producing states in India, producing around 32.6 million tonnes, after Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, and Haryana. While India is just after China, in terms of wheat production.

4. Millets

Millets- or cereal crops- date back to the Mohen-Jo-Daro and Harappan times, when they were the staple crops, long before rice and wheat overtook. Some describe it as a medicinal crop, whereas the Chinese folk calls it a treasure trove of nutrition.

The most famous types of millets are Ragi, Bajra, Jowar, Kuttu, and Kakum.

Millets grow well in temperatures ranging from 27°C to 32°C, with rainfall around 50-100 cm.

These crops can also be grown in inferior alluvial or loamy soil since they are not much sensitive to soil deficiencies.

Ragi is mostly grown in dry regions where red, black, sandy, loamy, and shallow black soil is available. Ragi is rich in iron, calcium, roughage, and other micro-nutrients and is highly recommendable for maintaining a good diet.

Bajra crops prefer sandy and shallow black soils. Rajasthan and UP are the topmost Bajra-producing states.

Jowar is a rain-fed crop and grows best in moist areas with little irrigation. Maharashtra and Karnataka are the major Jowar-producing states

5. Pulses

Remember when your mother had asked for Arhar daal and you instead came back with Chana daal? You have all our empathy!

India boasts as the largest producer as well as the largest consumer of pulses.

Pulses require a temperature between 20-27°C and rainfall between 25-60 cm for their growth. Sandy and loamy soil, which is often present in states like Rajasthan and MP, is the appropriate soil type for pulses to grow.

MP, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, UP, and Karnataka pose as the top pulses-producing states

Pulses contain a high amount of protein. So, go back after reading this article, and encourage your vegetarian friends to include pulses in their diet