Crops of Sagar Districts

The District of Sagar is predominantly a Rabi area. Wheat crop is the agricultural staple. other staple crops are gram, linseed and jowar. Mixed cropping is resorted to as a measure of insurance against the vagaries of nature. Rabi is the main cropping season, though the proportion of Rabi to kharif has varied from time to time.Occasionally, the Kharif crop exceeded the Rabi when wheat crop was badly affected by rust or frost or when bad season hampered rabi sowing. When the season conditions came to normality the Rabi crops were gradually restored to their original position of prominence. Conversely whenever there are heavy and continuous rains through July and August which prevent the ploughs from getting to work, or Kharif crops get rotten particularly in low-lying and water-logged areas, they are ploughed and diverted to Rabi sowings. The climatic conditions thus largely determine the relative weightage given to Kharif and Rabi crops in a particular year



Wheat is the most important crop and the cultivators prefer to grow it first. There are several varieties of local wheat which are roughly divided by the cultivators into Gehun and Pissi. Former includes all the hard or macaroni wheat which are primarily grown for home consumption.The latter is soft common wheat meant for outside market.



Next in importance to wheat is gram. It is grown partly on good black soil as an alternative to wheat and partly on inferior black soils, unfit for wheat, sometimes in rotation with wheat or jowar. It is a favourable first crop on newly broken black soil, if there is any kans left on it. Gram fertilizes the soil in which it is grown.



Linseed is an important commercial crop, and is grown on poorer wheat land or land unfit for wheat. It does not always follow the fortunes of wheat hence cultivators often sow linseed with wheat so as to insure against a failure of their staple crop of wheat. It is grown not infrequently mixed with gram as well as with wheat. Its cultivation is attended with considerable risks and is considered speculative. It is also exhausting to the soil. From the cultivator's point of view it has the advantage that it requires less quantity of seed to sow in comparison to wheat, and is generally successful when gram and wheat fail. Its area is determined by the state of the market and fluctuates violently.



Jowar is the most important amongst the Kharif crops and stands next to wheat as a food-crop. It is often grown on good land in rotation with wheat. It sometimes does particularly well in light soil villages where wheat does not prove equally successful. Failure of wheat harvest is followed by an immediate expansion of the jowar area, partly because wheat seed is likely to be in short supply and partly to replenish the larder as it ensures early supply of food-grains.It has the added advantage that it provides fodder for the cattle.



Paddy is not particularly important crop in the district. It is confined to small plots round the village site to which drainage from houses can be easily diverted, the manured gadas, small embanked fields, wet land below tanks and along the edges of a water spread. It is also occasionally grown in scattered hills or hollows of trap formations.



Til is usually of the white autumn variety and is grown chiefly in the Rehli tahsil. When late til is likely to be caught by frost and if the monsoon is delayed sowings are at once affected, In the northern tahsils the hardier ramtil is preferred and is a common crop on the inferior rains.



Fruits and vegetables occupied 6,425 acres in 1960-61 out of which potato was responsible for 1,839 acres which produced 8.0 thousand tons. Sagar district is one of the principal producers of potato in the State, and Sagar tahsil is the chief potato-growing area. Mango is the chief fruit crop of the district.



The cattle besides being a source of milk supply are used as draught animal for the plough or the cart. Without cattle no cultivation would be possible, without cattle no produce could be transported.   



The Civil Veterinary Department, Madhya Pradesh established a dairy farm at Ratona on 1st Octber 1946. It is situated at a distance of seven miles from Sagar, on the right side of Sagar-Bhopal Road. Tharparkar cows and murrah breeds of buffaloes are being kept at the dairy farm for the production of milk. Hariana cows were also kept for this purpose  The dairy is at present supplying good amount of milk of milk per day to the Sagar Town It also supplies bulls for breeding milch cattle.



The periodical fairs held in different places in the district stimulate the development of the quality of cattle. The weekly markets at Khurai attract a large number and variety of cattle. Similar markets are held at Kesli in Rehli tahsil and at Rahatgarh in Sagar tahsil. But by far the largest market is during the annual fair held at Garhakota. It is held from Basant Panchami to Holi every year and is reputed to be of ancient origin, having been started by Raja Mardan Singh some 150 years ago. The fair is still called after his name and is said to be largest fair in the Mahakoshal region of the State. The animals bought and soid at the fair are bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes and horses.



The birds are used for food and egg production. As the eggs are gradually occupying increasing place in the Indian diet on account of their nutritive value, their demand is also steadily increasing. Consequently improved methods are being adopted for poultry farming with a view to stepping up their production. White Leghorn which is a good laying breed is getting popular in the district.



A large variety of fishes are found in the district. The more common species have been mentioned in chapter I. Only four varieties of major carps, viz., labeo rohita, labeo calbasu, catla catla and cirrhina mrigal have been taken up for pond culture in the district.



Village papers recorded an area of 7,30,856 acres (1,142 sq miles) in the district as forests in the year 1959-60. This came to about 29 per cent of the total geographical area of the district. According to the Departmental figures forests cover an area of 1,065.35 sq. miles consisting of 739.80 sq.miles of 'Reserved' forests and 325.55 sq. miles of 'Protected' forests. Besides this an area of about 92 sq. miles of forests (classified as chhota-ghas) is under the control of the Revenue Department.



The forests of Sagar district belong to the Northern Tropical Drry-Deciduous type according to Champion's Classification (group 4b) The forests of the district can be considered under the following broad sub-types:- (i) Teak forests : (a) Teak forest on alluvium. (b) Teak forest on trrap. sandstone etc. (ii) Mixed forests. (iii) Khair forests.