Paddy is the principal crop extensively cultivated in all the districts of the state having a unique three-season pattern viz Kar/Kuruvai/Sornavari (April to July), Samba/ Thaladi/Pishanam (August to November) and
Navarai/ Kodai (December to March). Paddy accounted for 33.2% of the total cropped area in the state Thiruvarur district is at the top with an area of 178040 ha followed by Thanjavur district with 177094 ha and
Nagapattinam district 170840 ha.
Bajra known as Cumbu in Tamilnadu is generally sown under rain-fed conditions in the state. The area under the crop during 08-09 is 56672 ha constituting 1.0% of the total cropped area in the State. Bajra is generally grown in Villupuram, Thoothukudi,, Madurai, Thiruvannamalai, Virudhunagar, Karur, Theni and Dindigul districts that together accounted for 71.1% of the total area.
Jowar known as Cholam in Tamilnadu was grown in about 258876 ha constituting 4.4% of the total cropped area of the state. Jowar is sown in both under rain-fed as well as irrigated conditions. Coimbatore, Thiruppur, Dindigul, Trichirapalli, Karur, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Salem, Madurai, Virudunagar, and Theni districts have contributed 73.9% of the total area under this crop in the state.
The area under Ragi constitutes about 1.5% of the total cropped area in the state in 08-09. Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Salem, Erode and Vellore districts together accounted for 93.0% of the total area.
Greengram is one of the major pulses widely consumed next to Blackgram. It is grown both in Kharif and Rabi seasons. The crop was extensively cultivated in Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Thoothukudi, Virudhunagar and Thanjavur districts which together accounted for 67.9% of the total area.
Blackgram is one of the important pulses grown in both Kharif and Rabi seasons. It accounts for 49.2% of the total area under pulses during the current year. This crop was extensively grown in Nagapattinam,
Cuddalore, Thiruvarur, Toothukudi, Villupuram and Thanjavur districts and these districts together accounted for 80.2% of the total area.
Redgram is sown mainly under rainfed condition. Vellore district stands first (8100 ha) in the cultivation of Redgram with 29.5% of the total area.
Horsegram Crop is grown both in Kharif and Rabi Seasons. Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts are the main districts in the cultivation of Horsegram
Bengalgram is mainly sown in Rabi season. Thiruppur and Coimbatore are the main districts in the cultivation of Bengalgram.
Sugarcane is the most important commercial crop grown in the State. Out of 308800 ha of area under Sugarcane, 53.0% is planted and 47.0% is Ratoon. Villupuram, Erode, Cuddalore, Thiruvannamalai, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Vellore and Salem districts together accounted for 67.9% of the total Sugarcane area.
Chillies is another important commercial crop grown in the State. This is mainly grown in Ramanathapuram and Thoothukudi districts and sparsely grown in almost all other districts. These two districts together share 62.5% of the total area.
Banana is the third trinity of Fruits and is also grown all over the State. Banana is the most widely consumed and is available in all seasons and in different varieties in the State. The Total area under Banana is 115804 ha in the state during 08-09. Erode, Thoothukudi, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Trichirapalli, Vellore, Kanyakumari and Karur districts together accounted for 57.9% of the total area.
Potato is a major vegetable widely consumed throughout Tamilnadu whereas it is grown only in the hilly areas of Dindigul, The Nilgiris, Krishnagiri and Erode districts. Dindigul and The Nilgiris districts together
constitute about 90.7% of potato area in the state.
Mango is one of the trinity of Fruits in Tamilnadu and is a seasonal one. It is generally grown under rain-fed conditions in the state. The area under the crop during 08-09 is 130012 ha in the State. Mango is generally grown all over the state and concentrated specifically in the districts of Krishnagiri, Dindigul, Vellore, Tiruvallur, Dharmapuri and Theni that together accounted for 67.4% of the total area.
Groundnut is the major crop under oilseeds accounting for 8.4% of the total cropped area in the state during 08-09. It is raised as both rain-fed as well as irrigated crop. Thiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Vellore, Namakkal, Salem, Kancheepuram, Erode and Pudukottai districts constitute 65.8% of the area .
Coconut is a perennial crop raised extensively in Coimbatore, Thiruppur, Thanjavur, Dindigul, Kanniyakumari, Vellore, Theni, Tirunelveli, Krishnagiri, Salem and Madurai districts. The area under coconut in these districts accounted for 76.2% of the total area.
Next to Groundnut and Coconut, Gingelly is the major oilseed crop in the state. Erode, Thanjavur, Karur, Cuddalore, Villupuram and Salem districts accounted for 62.2% of the total area.
As a commercial crop different varieties of cotton are grown to the extent of 114516 ha in the state during the year under report. The major cotton growing districts are Perambalur, Salem, Tiruchy, Virudhunagar,
Villupuram and Madurai together accounted for 64.4% of the total area.
Cashewnut is the most important commercial crop in the State. It was grown in about 99168 ha in the state during 08-09. Cashewnut is sown mostly in sandy soil conditions. Perambalur and Cuddalore are the main districts and have contributed 61.6% of the total area.