Maximizing your crops' Success - Practice Crop Rotation
Crops rotation is an important practice in sustainable and organic agriculture as it helps improve overall soil health, increases crop yields and reduces the cost of fertilizers. Crops rotation is simply changing the type of crop grown each year in a given field so the same crop is not grown in the same spot for multiple seasons. This gives soils time to replenish the needed nutrients, reduces pest infestations, and increases crop viability.
The practice of crop rotation involves choosing a series of crops planted in succession around a field, one type of crop in a certain plot for one year and then switching to a different crop in the following year. This gives the soil time to recover from the prior crop and allow for different combinations of plants to be introduced in order to maximize yields, maintain nutrient utilization, and avoid pest infestations.
Rotation includes alternating from field to field with different crops. Planting cover crops in between growing seasons will increase soil health, decrease the chance of insect infestations, increase the organic matter in the soil, and aid in nutrient retention. Different crops in the rotation will also reduce the risk of disease buildup.
Crop rotation should also be adjusted according to the soil type, climate, and soil fertility. Planting legumes can replenish nitrogen, minerals such as calcium, sulfur, and phosphorus can also be applied if needed. Deep rooted crops should be planted first so they will produce a larger root mass to pull up nutrients further down in the soil. Annual crops should be planted in the same location forless than three years, and perennial crops should remain in a plot no longer than six years.
Crop rotation is an effective tool for maintaining nutrient balance and soil fertility, decreasing pest infestations, and promoting sustainable agriculture. By rotating the type of crop grown each season, farmers can keep their soils healthy, maximize yields and reduce the use of fertilizers. By properly managing crop rotation and diversifying their cropping system, farmers can produce higher quality yields, improve soil structure and function, and maintain resiliency of their soil, crops and environment.