AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION
As in other districts of the State, there are two main harvests
for field crops in the district, the kharif or autumn crop, which is
gathered mostly at the beginning of the cold weather and the
other, viz., rabi or spring crop in January and February. In
the district, Sironcha, Gadhchiroli and Brahmapuri tahsils have
more than 70 per cent of the gross cropped areas under kharif while in the remaining three tahsils, viz., Warora, Chandrapur
and Rajura, rabi crops are grown on a large scale. The chief
autumn crops grown in the district are rice, kharif jowar, tur
and cotton. Kodon-kutki and maize crops formed the principal
crops grown in kharif season in 1909 in addition to the above.
Wheat, jowar, gram, linseed, and some pulses are grown in rabi season. Jowar is thus produced in both the kharif and the rabi seasons. The areas under crops in the two seasons, however,
vary from year to year. This is due entirely to the variations in
The crop table of seasonal agricultural operations or the farmer's calendar is more or less of a permanent nature. Since 1909 there has been no remarkable shift in the farmer's calendar. His year still starts with the manuring of his fields. This is generally done in the hot weather. The manure is simply carted to the fields and dumped down in heaps. After the first showers the farmer starts ploughing the field as it is softened by the shower. This ploughing
helps in exposing as much soil to the air as possible and the consequent rooting
out of weeds. The manure is then spread, mixed with the soil. One or two harrowings are also given. By the time these operations are over, there is sufficient moisture in the soil due to the monsoon. The seed of the autumn crops is then sown. These crops receive two weedings, one while the crop is only a few inches above the ground, and the other a few weeks later. After the weedings are over the land is prepared for the spring crop. It is done in the same manner as in the case of autumn crops. By this time the autumn crop which is fast ripening needs to be guarded against birds and animals. Such measures include erecting of machans, fencing, and watching at night. In the month of September and October the rabi crops are sown. After the sowing of the rabi crop, the kharif harvest is close at hand and by the time all the operations such as cutting and gathering, drying, threshing and winnowing are over, the spring harvest is almost due and has to be treated likewise. The farmer thus gets some rest sometime between April and May.