Prior to large scale adoption of high yielding varieties of paddy, the major crops during the kharif season were maize (5.6 lakh ha), groundnut (1.7 lakh ha) and bajra (2.1 lakh ha); most of these areas now stand replaced by paddy. Other major kharif crop was cotton (5 lakh ha). Some area under bajra has also been replaced by cotton. During rabi, there was large area under gram (8.7 lakh ha) and rapeseed mustard (1.1 lakh ha), which has been mostly replaced by wheat. The predominance of paddy-wheat rotation has some farreaching implications for the State in the form of disturbance of its water balance, deterioration in soil health, emergence of new pests and diseases, intensive use of commercial energy and deterioration in the overall agro-ecosystem of the State. Crop diversification is long overdue in Punjab. A team of Agriculture and Environment Center met farmer Avtar Singh Phagwara during Jal Chetna Yatra 2021. S. Avtar Singh has invented new techniques of farming in which is grows sugarcane along with other crops. Talking to Bhai Mandhir Singh, S. Avtar Singh Phagwara said that Punjab farmers need to start sowing native crops like Kodra, Raagi, Swank, Kangni and Bajra in order to diversify crop pattern of Punjab.

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