Advertisement

Crop Rotation

  • Boris BoinceanEmail author
  • David Dent
Chapter

Abstract

Crop rotation is the cheapest and most effective way to improve crop yields and soil fertility. The principles are (1) diversity of crops in time and space at the field and landscape levels—to increase the crops’ innate capacity to suppress weeds, pests and disease; (2) alternation of crops with different rooting depths; (3) each complete crop rotation should maintain or increase soil organic matter. On the Black Earth across the Steppes and Prairies, it pays to match different crops with appropriate predecessors and to respect the terms of return of the same crop to the same field. For winter wheat, the loss of yield from a crop sown after a late-harvested predecessor such as corn, compared with an early-harvested predecessor such as oats-and-vetch, is twice the benefit from applying fertilizer: almost 2 t/ha compared with less than 1 t/ha. Inherent soil fertility contributes 90% of the yield of wheat after early-harvested predecessors but only 50% under continuous wheat; poorer soil performance has to be compensated by higher rates of mineral fertilizers and pesticides. Fertilizers cannot replace crop rotation. Continuous monocrops yield less than crops grown in rotation, both on unfertilized and fertilized plots; nitrogen-use and water-use efficiency are significantly better in crop rotations. The effect of crop rotation (the difference between yields in crop rotation and continuous cropping) is greater for winter wheat and sugar beet compared with corn-for-grain and sunflower. The Steppes are getting dryer. This increases the importance of water held deep in the soil and increases the value of crops like lucerne with deep and abundant root systems. However, crops with deep roots and a long growing season dry out the soil more than shallow-rooted crops with a short growing season so, in a crop rotation, the time interval between deep-rooting crops should be at least 2 years to allow recharge of soil water. Counter-intuitively, less water is accumulated from rain and snowmelt under black fallow than under crops. Different crops offer different degrees of protection from soil erosion. The ratio between protective, compact-drilled crops and row crops that give little protection should be determined by the steepness of slopes at the landscape level.

Keywords

Principles of crop rotation Effect of rotation Predecessor crops Terms of return Water-use efficiency Nitrogen-use efficiency Fertilization 

References

  1. Alabouvette, C., Olivain, C., & Steinberg, C. (2006). Biological control of plant diseases: The European situation. European Journal of Plant Pathology, 114(3), 329–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey, K. L., & Lazarovits, G. (2003). Suppressing soil-borne diseases with residue management and organic amendments. Soil and Tillage Research, 72(2), 169–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barker, K. R., & Koenning, S. R. (1998). Developing sustainable systems for nematode management. Annual Review of Phytopathology, 36, 165–205.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bender, S. F. A., Wagg, C., & van Heijden, M. G. A. (2016). An underground revolution: Biodiversity and soil ecological engineering for agricultural sustainability. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 31(6), 440–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennet, H. H. (1947). Elements of Soil Conservation. New York: McGraw Hill.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bierderbeck, V. O., Janzen, H. H., Campbell, C. A., & Zentner, R. P. (1994). Labile soil organic matter as influenced by cropping practices in an arid environment. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 26(12), 1647–1656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Boincean, B. P. (1999). Ecological Agriculture in the Republic of Moldova (Crop Rotation and Soil Organic Matter). Chisinau: Stiinta (Russian).Google Scholar
  8. Boincean, B. P. (2014). Fifty years of field experiments with crop rotations and continuous cultures at the Selectia Research Institute for Field Crops. In D. L. Dent (Ed.), Soil as World Heritage (pp. 175–200). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Broadberry, S., Campbell, B.M.S., Overton, M., et al. (2009) Historical national accounts for Britain 1300–1850: Some preliminary estimates. http://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/sbroadberry/wp/britishgdplongrun.pdf.
  10. Bullock, D. G. (1992). Crop rotation. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 11(4), 308–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell, C. A., Biederbeck, V. O., Zentner, B. P., & Lafond, G. P. (1991). Effect of crop rotations and cultural practices on soil organic matter, microbial biomass and respiration in a thin Black Chernozem. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 71, 363–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Campbell, C. A., Brand, S. A., Biederbeck, V. O., et al. (1992). Effect of crop rotations and rotation phase on characteristics of soil organic matter in a Dark Brown Chernozemic soil. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 72, 403–416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Campbell, C. A., Myers, R. J. K., & Curtin, D. (1995). Managing nitrogen for sustainable crop production. Fertilizer Research, 42, 277–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Cardina, J., Herms, C. P., & Doohan, D. J. (2002). Crop rotation and tillage system effects on weed seed banks. Weed Science, 50(4), 448–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Chatterton, L., & Chatterton, B. (1996). Sustainable dryland farming. Farmer innovation in a Mediterranean climate. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Chou, C.-H. (2010). Roles of allelopathy in plant biodiversity and sustainable agriculture. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 18(5), 609–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Constantinov, I. S. (1987). Soil erosion protection for intensive agriculture. Chisinau (Russian): Stiinta.Google Scholar
  18. Cook, R. J. (2000). Advances in plant health management in the twentieth century. Annual review of Phytopathology, 38, 95–116.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cresswell, H. P., & Kirkegaard, J. A. (1995). Subsoil amelioration by plant roots- the process and the evidence. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 33, 221–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Crews TE & MB Peoples. (2004). Legume versus fertilizer sources of nitrogen: Ecological tradeoffs and human needs. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment 102, 279–297.Google Scholar
  21. Crews TE & MB Peoples. (2005). Can the synchrony of nitrogen supply and crop demand be improved in legume and fertilizer-based agroecosystems? A review. Nutrient Cycling in Agro-Ecosystems 72, 101–120.Google Scholar
  22. Crews, T. E., Blesh, J., Culman, S. W., et al. (2016). Going where no grains have gone before: From early to mid-succession. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 223, 223–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Dent, D. L. (2019). Green water, used by plants and managed by farmers: Measurement, accounting, policy. In J.A. Allan, M. Keulertz, A. J. Colman & B. Bromwich (Eds.) The Oxford handbook of water, food and society (pp. 29–44). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Doyarenko, A. G. (1963). Selected works. Moscow: Kolos (Russian).Google Scholar
  25. Drinkwater, L. E., Wagoner, P., & Sarrantonio, M. (1998). Legume-based cropping systems have reduced carbon and nitrogen losses. Letters to Nature 396, 262–265.Google Scholar
  26. Ermolov, A. S. (1879). Organization of the farm. Crop rotations II. AF Devrien, St Petersburg (Russian).Google Scholar
  27. FAO. (2017). The future of food and agriculture. Trends and challenges. Summary. Rome.Google Scholar
  28. Farooq, M., Jabron, K., Cheema, Z. A., et al. (2010). The role of allelopathy in agricultural pest management. Agricultural Pest Management, 67, 493–506.Google Scholar
  29. Franzluebbers, A. J., Sawchik, J., & Taboadac, M. A. (2014). Agronomic and environmental impacts of pasture-crop rotations in temperate North and South America. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 190, 18–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Franke, A. C., van den Brand, G. J., Vanlauwe, B., & Giller, K. E. (2018). Sustainable intensification through rotation with grain legumes in Sub-Saharan Africa: A review. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, 261, 172–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Fustec, J., Lesuffleur, F., Mathieu, S, & Cliquet, J. B. (2010). Nitrogen rhizo-deposition of legumes. A review. INRA Agronomy for Sustainable Development 30(1), 57–66.Google Scholar
  32. Giller, K. E., & Cadisch, G. (1995). Future benefits from biological nitrogen fixation: An ecological approach to agriculture. Plant and Soil, 174(1–2), 255–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gliessman, S. R. (2000). Agroecosystem sustainability: Developing practical strategies. Boca Raton FL: CRC Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Goldstein, W. (1999). Alternative crop-rotation and management systems for the Pelouse. PhD thesis, Washington State University, Department of Agronomy and Soils, Pullman WA.Google Scholar
  35. Goulding, K. (2000). Nitrate leaching from arable and horticultural land. Soil Use and Management, 16, 145–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gregorich, E. C., Drury, C. F., & Beldock, J. A. (2001). Changes in soil carbon under long-term maize in monoculture and legume-based rotation. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 81, 21–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Grizlov, E. B. (1975). Soil protecting system of agriculture. Rostov-on-Don: Rostov Book Publisher (Russian).Google Scholar
  38. Halvorson, A. D., Ruele, C. A., & Follett, R. T. (1999). Nitrogen fertilization effects on soil carbon and nitrogen in a dryland cropping system. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 63(4), 912–917.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Haynes, R. J., Swift, R. S., & Stephen, R. C. (1991). Influence of mixed cropping rotations (pasture-arable) on organic matter content, water stable aggregation and clod porosity in a group of soils. Soil and Tillage Research, 19, 77–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Homco, V. G., Homco, L. S., & Orlove, Z. A. (1987). Summary on crop rotation studies in Stavropol Region. In Agronomic basis for crop rotation specialization (pp. 154–162). Moscow: Agropromizdet (Russian).Google Scholar
  41. Hughes, H. D. (1925). The future of sweet clover in the corn belt. Journal of American Society of Agronomy, 17(7), 409–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Jensen, E. S., Peoples, M. B., Boddey, R. M., et al. (2012) Legumes for mitigation of climate change and the provision of feedstock for biofuels and biorefineries: A review. Agronomy and Sustainable Development 32, 329–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Johnson, T. C. (1927). Crop rotation in relation to soil productivity. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 19, 518–527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Karlen, D. L., Hurley, E. G., Andrew, S. A., et al. (2006). Crop rotation effects on soil quality at three Northern corn/soybean belt locations. Agronomy Journal, 98, 484–495.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Karlen, D. L., Varvel, D. G., Bullock, D. G., & Cruse, R. M. (1994). Crop rotations for the 21st century. Advances in Agronomy, 53, 3–45.Google Scholar
  46. Kastanov, A. N. (1983). Scientific basis for soil and water protective agriculture on slopes. In Protective agriculture on slopes (pp. 9–22). Moscow (Russian).Google Scholar
  47. Kessel, C. van, & Hartley, C. (2000). Agricultural management of grain legumes: Has it led to an increase in nitrogen fixation? Field Crops Research, 65, 165–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Konke, G., & Bertrand, A. (1962). Protection of the soil. Russian translation by SS Sobolev: State Publisher of Agricultural Literature, Moscow (Russian).Google Scholar
  49. Kremen, C., & Miles, A. (2012). Ecosystem services in biologically diversified versus conventional farming systems: Benefits, externalities and trade-offs. Ecology and Society, 17(4), 40.Google Scholar
  50. Krupinsky, J. M., Bailey, K. L., McMullen, M. P., et al. (2002). Managing plant disease risk in diversified cropping systems. Agronomy Journal, 94(4), 198–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Kurov, P. (1916). How to obtain high yields of winter cereal crops in Bessarabia. Chisinau: Bessarabian Dept of Agriculture (Russian).Google Scholar
  52. Lecuta, I. (1889). The basis for a soil-improving farm (4th ed.). Translated from the French: St Petersburg (Russian).Google Scholar
  53. Lenssen, A. W., Waddell, J. T., Johnson, G. D., & Carlson, G. R. (2007). Diversified cropping systems in semiarid Montana: Nitrogen use during drought. Soil and Tillage Research, 94, 362–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Likov, A. M., Esikov, A. I., & Novikov, M. N. (2004) Soil organic matter of arable non-black soils. Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Russian).Google Scholar
  55. Liebman, M., & Dyck, E. (1993). Crop rotation and intercropping strategies for weed management. Ecological Applications, 3(1), 92–122.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Lin, R., & Chen, C. (2014). Tillage, crop rotation, and nitrogen management strategies for wheat in Central Montana. Agronomy Journal, 106, 475–485.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Malitev, T. S. (1983). Thoughts about yields (Vol. 1). Celjabinsk: South-Ural Book Publishers (Russian).Google Scholar
  58. Matson, P. A., Parton, W. J., Power, A. G., & Swift, M. J. (1997). Agricultural intensification and ecosystem properties. Science, 277, 504–509.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Mӓder, P., Edenhofer, S., Boller, T., et al. (2000). Arbuscular mycorrhiza in a long-term field trial comparing low-input (organic, biological) and high input conventional farming systems in a crop rotation. Biological Fertility of Soils, 31(2), 150–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Mulvaney, R. L., Khan, S. A., Hoeft, R. G., & Brown, H. M. (2001). A soil organic nitrogen fraction that reduces the need for nitrogen fertilization. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 65, 1164–1172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Nemecek, T., Richthofen, J.-S., von, Dubois, G., et al. (2008). Environmental impacts of introducing grain legumes into European crop rotations. European Journal of Agronomy, 28, 380–393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Oakley, R. A. (1925). The economics of increased legume production (Symposium on the legume problem). Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 17(7), 389–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. O’Dea, J. K., Jones, C. A., Zabinski, C. A., et al. (2015). Legume, cropping intensity, and N-fertilization effects on soil attributes and processes from an eight-year-old semiarid wheat system. Nutrient Cycling in Agro-Ecosystems, 102(2), 179–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Pacoski, I. K. (1914). On weed control. Notice of the Empire Society of South Russia (Odessa) 5–6, 37–61 (Russian).Google Scholar
  65. Peoples, M. B., Brockwell, J., Herridge, D. F., et al. (2009). The contributions of nitrogen-fixing crop legumes to the productivity of agricultural systems. Review article. Symbiosis 48, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Peters, R. D., Sturz, A. V., Carter, M. R., & Sanderson, J. B. (2003). Developing disease-suppressive soils through crop rotation and tillage management practices. Soil and Tillage Research, 72, 181–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Powlson, D. S., MacDonald, A. J., & Poulton, P. R. (2014). The continuing value of long-term field experiments. Insights for achieving food security and environmental integrity. In D. L. Dent (Ed.), Soil as world heritage (pp. 131–158). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Power, J. F. (1990). Fertility management and nutrient cycling. Advances in Soil Science, 13, 131–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pryanishnikov, D. N. (1953). Nitrogen in crop life and in agriculture. Selected works (vol. II). Moscow: State Publisher of Agricultural Literature (Russian).Google Scholar
  70. Ratnedass, A., Fernandes, P., Avelino, J., & Habib, R. (2012). Plant species diversity for sustainable management of crop pests and diseases in agro-ecosystems: A review. Agronomy and Sustainable Development, 32(1), 273–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Renard, K. G., Foster, G. R., Weesies, G. A., et al. (1997) Predicting soil erosion by water: A guide to conservation planning with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation. Agriculture handbook, 703. Washington DC: US Department Agriculture.Google Scholar
  72. Ridley, A. M., Christy, B., Dunin, F. X., et al. (2001). Lucerne in crop rotations on the Riverine Plains. 1. The soil water balance. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research, 52, 263–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rodionovschi, F. K. (1953). Soil water regime for separate crops in the crop rotation. Pochvovedenie, 12, 90–98. (Russian).Google Scholar
  74. Rotmistrov, V. G. (1913). Crop rotation in relation to soil productivity. Journal of the American Society of Agronomy, 19, 518–527.Google Scholar
  75. Russel, Sir E. J. (1912). Soil conditions and crop growth. Monographs in biochemistry. London: Longmans Green and Co.Google Scholar
  76. Russel, E. W. (1950). Soil conditions and crop growth, 8th edn. Longman (Russian translation 1955).Google Scholar
  77. Soon, L. K., Brand, S. A., & Malhi, S. S. (2006). Nitrogen supply of a Dark brown Chernozem soil and its utilization by wheat. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, 86, 483–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Stadnic, S. S., & Boincean, B. P. (2017) Economic efficiency of fertilization for different crops in the crop rotation. In Sustainable agriculture of Moldova: Modern challenges and perspectives (pp. 17–22). Indigo Colour, Bălţi (Romanian).Google Scholar
  79. Stirling Lady AMW. (1912). Coke of Norfolk and his friends. London: John Lane The Bodley Head.Google Scholar
  80. Turner, N. C. (2004). Agronomic options for improving rainfall-use efficiency of crops in dryland farming systems. Journal of Experimental Botany, 55(407), 2413–2425.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Williams, V. R. (1950–1952) Selected works (vol. 5-10). Moscow: State Publisher of Agricultural Literature (Russian).Google Scholar
  82. Wezel, A., Casagrande, M., Celette, F., et al. (2014). Agroecological practices for sustainable agriculture. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 34(1), 1–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Wischmeier, W. H., & Smith, D. D. (1965) Predicting rainfall erosion losses from cropland east of the Rocky Mountains: Guide for selection of practices for soil and water conservation. Agriculture Handbook 282. Re-issued 1978 as Predicting rainfall erosion losses: Guide to conservation planning. Agriculture Handbook 537. Washington DC: US Department of Agriculture.Google Scholar
  84. Zaharcenco, I. G. (1960). Soil water regime in crop rotation with cereals and sugar beet. Pochvovedenie, 3, 34–42. (Russian).Google Scholar
  85. Zaslavschi, M. (1966). Soil erosion and agriculture on slopes. Chisinau: Cartea Moldoveneasea (Russian).Google Scholar
  86. Zaslavschi, M. (1979). Soil erosion. Moscow: Misli (Russian).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Selectia Research Institute of Field Crops and Alecu Russo Bălţi State UniversityBaltiMoldova
  2. 2.Chestnut Tree Farm, Forncett EndNorfolkUK

Personalised recommendations