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What is crop rotation?

What is crop rotation?

 Crop rotation is like a form of Sudoku agriculture because it involves planning, putting in experts, and no guesswork to produce healthy crops that have the best results in the environment. A crop rotation diagram reveals a crop cycle that changes crops each season, like a revolving door, over a period of three to ten years. Other benefits of crop rotation include reducing harmful insects, weeds and diseases by repeatedly disturbing their habitat. 

For example, a four-year crop rotation chart might start with seedlings and move on to root vegetables, fruits, and greens to help build healthy levels of microbes in the soil. . Crop rotation is not as simple as blindly choosing which crops to plant and harvest each season. Instead, it involves a deeper skill in the beneficial balance of nitrogen levels in the soil. Crop rotation can also include grazing of livestock such as sheep and cattle that graze in some areas. This improves the quality of the soil and increases the water that the soil holds, which proves to be beneficial for crops and crops (especially in areas with little water rain).
 
As each plant interacts with the soil in a different way, it makes sense to rotate crops to ensure that the soil maintains the optimal level of nutrients. For example, peppers and tomatoes produce nitrogen in abundance in the soil. To combat this problem, in the next season the farmer can plant nitrogen fixing crops like soybeans to restore the proper nitrogen levels. Crop rotation can take years to complete a complete process where the first seed that was originally planted in the same soil will not be planted for several years. Since crops can still be grown on the same plot of land year after year, this begs the question: why is crop rotation important? Keep reading to learn all the benefits of crop rotation and why farmers have been using this practice since 6000 BC.


What are the benefits of crop rotation?

To answer this question, it is best to look at a concrete example. For example, one of the reasons it is illegal to import unwrapped food into the United States is that fruit, rice, and other foods can carry potentially dangerous germs. Pathogens cause disease in plants and can be especially dangerous for people with weak immune systems. As some pathogens are attracted to specific crops, continuous cropping (the process of planting crops in the same plot of land they previously occupied) can cause the number of soil-borne pathogens is increasing rapidly. To solve this problem, farmers can implement crop rotation that disrupts the spread of disease by planting seeds that are not specifically resistant to the virus.
 
In the meantime, we hope you will get more answers to the question "why is crop rotation important?" And if not, let us explain. Just as cutting your hair every day will lead to damaged hair, planting a crop in the soil at regular intervals can also lead to better soil health. Soil is a living, breathing thing that needs care. Crop rotation gives the soil a break from the root system when you change the crops planted, as some crops have deep roots and some have shallow roots. To diversify the composition of soil molecules, farmers can rotate crops high in nitrogen and carbon with crops of different proportions. In addition, intercropping with peas and chickpeas can produce higher wheat yields the following season. In addition, research has shown that different plants can produce root exudates (water that rains from plant roots) to increase the microbial diversity in the landscape.

Advantages of crop rotation 

1. Enhance soil structure:
 
Plant growth can be inhibited by soil compaction, which is when the pores of the soil are so closed that they leave little room for water and nutrients to reach the roots of the plant, thereby killing the plant. . Soil compaction can be done by walking on the soil or using heavy agricultural equipment on it. Crop rotation improves the physical texture of the soil by transplanting different plants whose roots reach different depths into the soil instead of leaving the soil in a compacted state. Poor soil conditions will cause hormonal signals to be sent to prevent plant growth, even if they have access to water and nutrients. This survival mechanism is the soil's response to protect other nutrients from entering the soil. If crop rotation is not applied, the plant may still suffer.

2.boost soil fertility

Continuous cropping can reduce important soil nutrients. Crop rotation can revitalize the soil by returning some of the lost nutrients to the soil. For example, some crops can increase potassium levels in the soil, which can be done with peas or corn (which need high potassium levels to grow). Food can also be used to improve soil fertility and various levels of bacteria by making the soil more fertile than inorganic fertilizers. Microorganisms such as fungi and earthworms increase in the soil after feeding. These measurements support a nutrient cycling system, which can be given to plants for increased yield.

 3. Prevent soil erosion
 
The nature is unpredictable and heavy rain or wind can damage the top layer of the soil, which affects crops. Crop rotation with rye, oats and some types of wheat protects the topsoil and acts as almost a cover for the crops. These cover crops also provide roots in the ground so they can continue to receive nutrients for optimal conditions. Plants such as vetch, rye and clover can also be used as crops.
 
Land degradation is common in places like the Midwest, where agriculture is common. Studies show that 60 percent of degraded land is drained by streams, lakes and rivers, increasing the risk of further pollution.


4. Reduce pollution
 
Crop rotation allows plants to obtain better nutrients from the soil, which can lead to reduced fertilizer use, especially if the plants are able to work with the nutrients in and around them. very well. Other nutrients in the plant appear less in streams and lakes. 

5. Prevents the concentration of pests and diseases
 
Crop rotation helps prevent plants from succumbing to pests and diseases. Pests and diseases can live in the soil, so changing crops every season can prevent them. Certain plants are resistant to antibiotics called non-host plants that can be used to help reduce the spread of disease and pests.

 6. Reduces weed growth
 
It's no secret that bites can damage a plant's life cycle. If you don't have access to an autonomous robot that fires lasers, farmers can turn to herbicides to destroy weeds. One way to reduce weeds (without agricultural robots) is to create unfavorable conditions for weeds through crop rotation. Crop rotation creates a constantly changing environment, so the grass has little time to adapt to new conditions.
 
Weeds take advantage of and tend to steal nutrients from plants and trees. Over time, this bite changes as some survive on less water. Crop rotation allows more crops to grow and leaves less room for weeds and soil.

 7. Increases yield
 
In fact, this could be the #1 list in this category. Performance is everything. As a farmer, if you don't have enough returns, you probably won't be in this business for long. Crop rotation leads to higher yields and profits. Monoculture involves planting only one type of crop each year, which can increase pollution and damage the soil for food. Abandoning this practice in favor of crop rotation can create a good return on investment.
 
One study found a 29 percent increase in corn yield compared to continuous seeding over two years. The yield increased by up to 48 percent in four years of crop rotation by using a winter cover crop in one of the four years. Crop rotation can have a positive effect on a farmer's land, especially during

turbulent times, where many family farms continue to struggle financially and incur unsustainable debts.


8. The cost of production was reduced along with the variety of crops
 
Food prices are rising due to various external pressures. One of the many benefits of crop rotation includes reduced input costs. Crop rotation leads to better soil, fewer weeds and fewer pests. According to one study, farmers who used a variety of crops with three or four crops in ten years reported a significant increase in their yields. What should farmers consider when adding new crops to a rotation?
 
Crop rotation is a way to ensure high yields, reduce input costs and produce less pollution. Although you may be more confident in answering the question 

"What is a crop rotation", it is important to consider the following questions before adding crops to your rotation system.
 

  • What type of soil is best for the plants I am adding? 
  • What type of climate is important for this new crop to grow (warm or cold)?
  • What are the financial requirements and participation fees? 
  • Is this new crop in demand and will it bring financial benefits?
  •  Do you have enough space for growing crops? 
  • Can you rotate with small grains to increase soil erosion?

Disadvantages of crop rotation

1. This involves risk

In crop rotation, investment at one time involves raising a large amount of money to buy seeds of different types of crops to be planted.
In addition, some crops require specific types of equipment, so farmers may invest in different types of machinery. This means that the initial costs can be high. However, the success of any type of crop does not guarantee that a person can destroy the bugs of the harvest. Also, pests and diseases from other crops can spread and infect other crops. There is also a risk that some crops will not succeed, if that type of crop is the only one that is cultivated, there will be no seed for that crop season, and the farmer will have to wait until the next season.

 2. Bad performance can cause more harm than good

Improper implementation of this system causes more harm than good. If one does not have the technical skills of crop rotation, there is no need to try because it is possible to create food that will take a long time to prepare. One must have the skill to know which one to plant and which time the process will be successful. Therefore poor implementation of the law causes huge loss to the farmer. However, information about different cropping systems is readily available and the farmer must be alert and ready to apply them according to his needs.

 3. Forced crop diversification

For crop rotation to work, you need to plant different crops each time. However, this does not allow the farmer to be an expert in one type of crop. A farmer cannot grow one crop on a large scale for a long time because of the damage it will cause to the soil. The practice of crop rotation is important to improve yields. Crop management also requires investing in different cropping systems for each specific crop; it costs time and money because each crop needs different attention. 

4. Requires more knowledge and skills

Crop rotation means different types of crops; therefore, it requires technical skills and deep knowledge about each type of crop being harvested. It also requires different types of machines, and their operation requires knowledge. This means that farmers will have to invest more time and resources in learning and mastering this farming technique.

 5. Differences in growing conditions

Some areas and their climate are better for monoculture, that is, for one type of crop. Other crops, other than this type of crop, cannot grow well in this type of temperature and soil conditions. 


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