Harvest Index and Harvest Index of Different Crops

A Female Farmer Holding Wheat
Harvest Index and Harvest Index of Different Crops
In agriculture, harvest index (HI) shows the relationship between actual yeild of the crop and total amount of the biomass produced by the crop. The total biomass produced include biomass of both root and shoot parts of the plant crop. However, in majority of cases, roots are not counted as it is hard and not feasible to measure. It is seen as the indicator of produce efficiency.

Harvest Index Formula
HI = Economic Yield/Biological Yield

HI% = (Economic Yield/Biological Yield)*100

Human Intervention
It is noted that due to human intervention, the harvest index for majority of commercially grown plant crops have grown significantly. In case of tuber forming species such as potato, it has reached 0.82 percent where as in flowering plant species such as 0.20. Similar growth has been shown by wheat, barley and rice whose harvest index has increased from 0.30-0.35 to 0.50-0.55 due to human intervention.

Harvest Index for Different Crops


CropHarvested ComponentHarvest Index (HI)
WheatGrain0.55
BarleyGrain0.55
MaizeGrain0.52
RiceGrain0.50
SunflowerSeeds0.50
GroundnutPods0.50
CottonBolls0.33
SugarbeetRoot0.50
PotatoTuber0.82
Sweet PotatoTuber0.65
TulipFlower0.20
SugarcaneStem0.27
PulsesSeeds0.30

Reasons Behind Low Harvest Index
1. Use of non-specific or unapproved variety seed for a specific area
2. Distribution of seed
3. Late or improper sowing of seeds
4. Disease
5. Weed
6. Improper use of fertilizers
7. Non-availability of irrigation facility

Also read: Conversion rate for different agricultural commodities