Crop rotation is the sowing of crops in regular order, one after another on the same land for a fixed period keeping in view that fertility of the soil may not be adversely affected.
Modern Crop rotation was established about the year 1730, in England.
1) There are some important botanical principles management consideration involved in setting up crop rotation. Following are the basic principles for a good rotation;
2) Crops of the same family should not follow each other.
3) Crops of the same root system (deep or shallow) should not follow each other.
4) Leguminous crops must be included the rotation.
5) Green manuring and forage crops should be given a place in the rotation at regular intervals.
6) Crops requiring heavy tillage operations should be included in the rotation. E.g: sugarcane and potato 🥔
7) Exhaustive crops should be followed by restorative crops. (Legumes and green manuring crops are restorative)
8) Alternating the crops susceptible to certain soil-borne diseases with those crops that are resistant to diseases.
9) Apply manure and commercial fertilizers to that crop in rotation which will make best use of them.
10) The choice of rotation for a particular farm depends upon the crops adapted to particular soil, climate, and economic conditions etc.
11) Other factors that affect crop rotation are: Irrigation facilities, market demands, and the prevalent system of farming.
12) In addition, weeds, plant diseases, and insect pests may limit the kids of crops to be grown in locality.
1. Diversification of farms:
Rotations provide some diversification of crops. Diversification may assure more economical use of irrigation water as well as other facilities. The risk of complete failure due to weather, pests, diseases and low prices is less with several crops than with one. Crops may be selected so as to spread labor throughout the year.
2. Control of weed, insect and diseases:
The rotation of crops is one the best means of controlling of weeds. With each crop appear certain typical weeds, and increase rapidly if a crop is grown continuously but can be checked by change of crop. Crops like potato and fodders like berseem when included in rotation exert a smothering influence. Similarly, many insects trouble only one crop or one group of crops. Also there are many diseases that injure one crop but are not harmful to other crops. So, changing crops is an effective method of checking damage from insects and diseases.
As the grasses, clovers, and green manuring crops are included in the rotation program, these crops usually increases the supply of organic matter to the soil.
4. Addition of nitrogen:
The legumes not only increase the supply of organic matter but also help to maintain the nitrogen supply of the soil.
Wind and water erosion is minimized with keeping the soil busy.
6. Soil reclamation:
The soils which are affected by water logging and salinity can be reclaimed by including some special grasses in the rotation.