What Is Crop Rotation;Types,Benefits And Consideration

Crop rotation is a scientifically based alternation of crops.It is the basis of farming systems, allows for rational use of the soil.In agriculture there are various techniques to avoid altering or degrading the soil.That is why there is the technique of crop rotation.This technique consists of planting alternating of different families that have different nutritional needs, but it is done in the same place.It is about occupying the land with different crops that are happening over time in order to maintain soil fertility. They should be rotated combining the architecture of the plant and the differentiation of roots with nutritional needs.

What Is Crop Rotation;Types,Benefits And Consideration

The basis for crop rotation in any agricultural enterprise is the structure of the sown area, i.e. the percentage of the area allocated for each culture to its total value. The withdrawal of arable land for a particular crop is determined on the basis of the planned production volumes (wheat, potato, hay, silage) for the coming years, adaptive capacity and the expected yield of crops. In small farms, where 4-6 crops are grown, and if they occupy approximately the same areas in the structure of sown areas, you can have one four-field (six-field) crop rotation. To introduce such a crop rotation, the available area should be divided into four (six) equal parts (fields), and one culture should be placed on each of them.

Types of crop association

  • Mixed: when the land is sown at random.
  • Interleaved: when the plant is sown with a certain distance between one furrow and the other.
  • In plots: crops are planted in plots and interspersed by the belts.


  1. Crop rotation in Cuba

    Reduce tillage needs .

  2. Reduce the use of machinery.
  3. Avoid soil compaction problems .
  4. The polyculture architecture with different leaf and stem sizes has the following advantages:
  5. Water intersection more slowly.
  • The water washes the leaves and the stem, from which nutrients are collected to be incorporated into the soil.
  • Water infiltration into the soil is slow, which allows moisture retention .
  • The intensity of the light that reaches the ground is reduced.
  • They help reduce the evaporation of the agricultural system .
  • They retain the soils.
  • Improve soil fertility .
  • They add organic matter continuously.
  • They provide more nutrients.
  • There is a more stable nutrient exchange.
  • Energy expenditure is lower in that production system.
  • The possibilities of commercialization are greater.

Benefits of crop rotation

  • It keeps the ground covered.
  • Promotes biological balance , decreasing the cycles of pests and diseases.
  • It allows a better use of the cultivation area over time.
  • Add stubble after harvest .
  • It generates a minimum production cost.

Crop rotation considerations

1. Alternate demanding nitrogen crops with undemanding crops.

  • Demanding crops: chard , cabbage , spinach , lettuce , pore , asparagus , pickle , corn , pumpkin .
  • Mediumly demanding crops: root crops; Celery , carrot , radish , beets , tubers .
  • Non-demanding crops: legumes or crops associated with green manures ; these will always be enriching the soil by the contribution of nitrogen.

2. Rotate crops that have a different vegetative mode:

  • Leaf vegetables: chard, celery, cabbage, spinach, lettuce, parsley , coriander , celery.
  • Root vegetables: tubers, carrots, garlic , onions , potatoes , radishes.
  • Fruits and flowers: tomato , pickle, cauliflower , eggplant and any kind of fruits.
  • Legumes: intercalate between crops or sow them alternating the crop plan. Some legumes: soy , lentils , chickpea .

Crop rotations help prevent the growth of harmful pests or insects . In Cuban agriculture, these types of rotations and crop associations efficiently control the pests presented there.

One of the main foreign exchange generating crops in Cuban agriculture is tobacco . The pests that affect this crop are controlled by the rotation of peanuts, corn, millet and velvet beans. It is important to highlight that this technological proposal has been so effective that the governing bodies of agricultural policies in Cuba , such as the National Center for Plant Health and the Institute for Plant Health Research , have decreed for the tobacco producers the mandate to make use of rotations and crop associations for tobacco production.

Other important benefits

  • Production is diversified.
  • Pests are controlled.
  • The soil is improved.
  • The process of the use of agrochemicals is independen

Such alternation of crops, as well as a couple (if there is such a field), in time and on the territory is called crop rotation. But the alternation of cultures should be scientifically based, i.e. each of them should be placed on those crops, after which it provides the highest yield and the best quality products. At the same time, she herself should have a positive impact on soil fertility, growth, development and yield of subsequent crops.

The culture or the pairs that occupied this field in the year before the next crop was sown is called the predecessor. The list of crops and steam in the order of their alternation is called a crop rotation scheme. The period during which crops and steam pass through each field in the sequence established by the crop rotation scheme is called crop rotation, and the plan for placing crops and steam across fields and years for the rotation period is the rotation table.

In connection with changes in requests for a particular product, fluctuations in prices for these products on the market, there is a need to change the set of crops grown in crop rotations. For example, food grain prices may fall due to high wheat yields in the neighboring region, while at the same time increasing the fodder grain of barley, or oats, used for the production of baby food. In order not to break the crop rotation with the next price fluctuations in the market, it is necessary to have a flexible crop rotation, where an alternation pattern is provided not for each crop, but for the crop groups to which they belong.

Very often several tilled crops – maize, sunflower, potato and others can be combined in one field – a combined field. It is also possible to combine vegetable spring grains and even pulses (wheat, barley, oats, peas, etc.) into one combined field. Combined fields of tilled, spring and winter grain, may be widely used in farms (peasant) farms, where, due to the limited arable land, it is impossible to divide the arable land into a large number of fields of small size, and it is impossible to effectively use agricultural equipment.

Perennial grasses, primarily alfalfa, are widely distributed in the southern irrigated areas, as well as in other precipitated regions of the country. This culture in the North Caucasus, in the Volga region in the year of sowing (spring) can form 2,3 cuttings. In more humid areas, where it is possible to obtain seedlings when sown in August terms, it is also practiced late-summer planting periods under the cover of winter intermediate crops, oats for green fodder and hay, and even winter wheat and winter barley.

In areas with sufficient rainfall and the sum of effective temperatures in crop rotations, intermediate crops are used along with the main ones. The main crops of auto-rotation are those that occupy the field for most of the growing season. Intermediate crops are those grown in the time interval free from the cultivation of the main crops of the crop rotation.

Agricultural Land Rotation

In order not to forget the succession of cultivation in the plots of land, we advise you to write down, on a diary, the list of the cultivated plants every year. Divide the vegetable garden or the land, plus 4 quadrants and from here start your  rotations .

We have advised you to divide the garden into 4 quadrants because the plants to be cultivated can be grouped into four large categories.

  • legumes
  • Demanding crops
  • Medium-requirement crops
  • Undemanding crops

Undemanding crops can be used as jokers, while legumes can precede crops with high and medium needs and follow these same crops.

Crop rotation, legumes

Peas, beans, green beans, beans, chickpeas … are crops that enrich the soil thanks to a symbiotic relationship that the root system establishes with nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

At the end of the cultivation, never eliminate the roots of the plants, limit yourself to bury the whole so as to enrich the nitrogen soil. Legumes can be grown after tomatoes, aubergines, potatoes … and all plants that have a high need for nitrogen.

Crop rotation, demanding plants

Tomato, aubergine, potato, courgette, pumpkin, cucumber, watermelon and melon. These plants cannot  succeed  in the same plot of land because they all want a large amount of nitrogen.

The lands that host these crops should be worked in the fall with a deep dig. At the time of processing, it will be good to incorporate mature manure. For all information:  how to fertilize with manure .

Crop rotation, medium-need plants

In the garden we love to grow garlic, carrot, fennel, lettuce, leek and radish. These plants love a medium soil rich in nitrogen. They can follow legumes or precede the cultivation of less demanding plants.

Crop rotation, less demanding plants

Parsley, spinach, beets, onions, aromatic herbs … These are less demanding plants. They do not seek specific fertility.

In crop rotation, crops alternate with each other annually. But there are cases when they are placed on the same field for 2 … 3 years. Such crops are called repetitive. This placement takes place in specialized crop rotations of rice, cotton, and others. Winter grain crops, potatoes, spring wheat, maize, sorghum, Sudanese grass in fodder and field crop rotations are also re-sown, which slightly reduces the yield compared to the annual other, not even legumes.

In the practice of agricultural production, there are cases of permanent cultivation of field crops, i.e. when the duration of its cultivation in the same field is equal to or exceeds the period of rotation of the crop rotation. Such crops are practiced in the cultivation of the most valuable crops (cotton, rice), for the cultivation of which in other climatic conditions there are no necessary temperature (cotton) or technical conditions. Permanent crops of winter wheat, winter barley are also cultivated under extreme conditions with an arid climate, where they effectively use autumn-winter precipitation and are the most fruitful compared to other crops.

But the permanent cultivation is associated with a significant reduction in the yield of all agricultural crops compared to growing in crop rotation. According to the degree of stability of crops with repeated and permanent crops, field crops are divided into three groups. The first group includes crops that greatly reduce yields (sunflower, sugar beet, soybean, clover, pea, lupine, leccano); secondly, with good fertilizer, good tillage, and the implementation of necessary measures to control weeds and diseases, ensure high yields and repeated crops (rice, potatoes, tobacco, oats, winter and spring forms of wheat, barley, rye); in the third – giving high yields with longer re-sowing (cotton, corn, sorghum, hemp).

Undoubtedly, in the preparation of crop rotations, one should strive to place each crop by the best predecessors in accordance with their requirements. But in the current conditions of the functioning of the agro-industrial complex and taking into account the economic opportunities of agricultural enterprises, the market situation there is a need for repeated and more prolonged unchallenged crops of some crops that are in demand in the market. Knowledge of the scientific foundations of crop alternation will allow specialists and practitioners in agriculture to develop rational crop rotations that will help achieve high yields of field crops and increase the economic efficiency of production.

The 3 things to know about crop rotation and its role in agriculture

  1.  Even the soil has a fundamental role in agriculture: it is also from there that the vegetable receives a part of the characteristics that can make it unique and good (see for example the Patata del Fucino IGP).
  2.  The technique of crop rotation is as old as it is simple: it is sufficient to alternate the cultivations destined for a specific area over a period of 3 or 4 years. Only in this way the soil remains fertile and healthy.
  3.  The agronomists Findus work closely with the farmers and map, area by area, the crops in progress and those planned for the future, thus reducing the use of pesticides or fertilizers.

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