Difference Between Rabi and Kharif Crops

Table of Contents

All crops do not grow in the same season. Different crops have specific requirements and suitable climatic conditions. Based on the climatic conditions, crops in India are broadly classified into two categories:

  • Kharif crops
  • Rabi crops

Let us have a detailed look at what are Kharif and rabi crops, their examples and the difference between the two.

Kharif Crops

The Kharif cropping season starts with the onset of the Indian subcontinent’s monsoon. Kharif crops are typically sown at the beginning of the first monsoon rains (depending on region to region). Harvesting season begins from the 3rd week of September to October (the exact harvesting dates differ from region to region).

Unlike Rabi crops, Kharif crops require good rainfall. The output of these crops depends upon the time and amount of rainwater. Paddy, maize, bajra, jowar are a few of the Kharif crops grown in India.

Examples of Kharif Crops

Following are some of the examples of Kharif crops:

  • Rice
  • Maize
  • Sorghum
  • Bajra
  • Soybean
  • Cotton

Also Read: Agricultural Practices

Rabi Crops

Rabi crops are known as winter crops. They are grown in October or November. The crops are then harvested in spring. These crops require frequent irrigation because they are grown in dry areas. Wheat, gram, and barley are some of the rabi crops grown in India.

Examples of Rabi Crops

Following are some of the examples of rabi crops:

  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Pulses
  • Mustard
  • Linseed

However, it is of utmost importance for all to know the difference between Rabi and Kharif crops, as the prices of grains and vegetables depend on the yield of these two. Let us have a look at a few differences between Rabi and Kharif crops below in a tabular column.

Difference between Rabi and Kharif Crops

Following are the important differences between Rabi and Kharif crops:

Kharif Crop Rabi Crop
Sowing Season
Kharif crops are sown early-May – usually at the beginning of the first monsoon rains Rabi crops are sown around mid-November – preferably after the monsoon rains
Also known as
Monsoon crops/ Autumn Crops Winter crops
Rainfall Pattern
Crops are drastically affected – too little or too much rainfall can lay waste to the efforts Generally not affected (however, rain in winter can potentially spoil rabi crops)
Essential Factors
Requires hot weather and a large amount of water to grow. Requires a warm climate for seed germination and a cold climate to grow.
Harvesting Months
Usually between October and November (Please note – exact harvesting season varies according to the crops and region) Generally between April and May (please note – exact harvesting season varies according to the crops and region)
Cotton, groundnut, maize and rice are examples of Kharif crops. Barley, gram, peas and wheat are examples of Rabi crops.
Term Origins/ Etymology
“Kharif” translates to “autumn season” in Arabic “Rabi” translates to “spring season” in Arabic

These were a few differences between Kharif and Rabi crops. Kharif and Rabi crops are mostly used to indicate the right time to sow and raise a particular crop.

For more information on Rabi and Kharif crops, examples of Rabi crops and Kharif crops and the differences between the two, register with BYJU’S website or download the BYJU’S app for further reference.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are rabi crops?

Rabi crops are also known as winter crops. These are the crops that are sown at the beginning of the winter season.


What are Kharif crops?

Kharif crops are those that are sown in the monsoon season and are also known as monsoon crops.


Give a few examples of rabi and Kharif crops.

Rabi crops- wheat, barley, oats, gram, mustard, linseed.
Kharif crops- rice, maize, millet, ragi, pulses, soybean, groundnut.


What are the different types of crops?

The different types of crops include:

  • Kharif crops
  • Rabi crops
  • Zaid crops
  • Food crops
  • Cash crops

What is the major difference between Rabi and Kharif crops?

The major difference is that the Rabi crops are grown in the winter season whereas the Kharif crops are grown in the monsoon season.

Also Read: Crop production

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