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Current Category » Principles of Agronomy

System Approach- Crop Rotation

Crop Rotation: It refers to recurrent succession of crops on the same piece of land either in a year or over a longer period of time. It is a process of growing different crops in succession on a piece of land in a specific period of time, with an objective to get maximum profit from least investment without impairing the soil fertility.

Characteristics of Crop rotation or Principles of Crop rotation:

1) It should be adaptable to the existing soil, climatic and economic factors.
2) The sequence of cropping adopted for any specific area should be based on proper land utilization. It should be so arranged in relation to the fields on the farm that the yields can be maintained and soil losses through erosion reduced to the minimum.
3) The rotation should contain a sufficient acreage of soil improving crops to maintain and also build up the OM content of the soil.
4) In areas where legumes can be successfully grown, the rotation should provide for a sufficient acreage of legumes to maintain the N supply of the soil.
5) The rotation should provide roughage and pasturage for the live stock kept on farm.
6) It should be so arranged as to help in the control of weeds, plant disease & insect-pests.
7)  It should provide for the acreage of the most profitable cash crops adapted to the area.
8) The rotation should be arranged as to make for economy in production & labour utilization     exhaustive (potato, sugarcane) followed by less exhaustive crops (oilseeds & pulses)
9) The crops with tap roots should be followed by those which have fibrous root system. This helps in proper & uniform use of nutrients from the soil & roots do not compete with each other for uptake of nutrients.
10) The selection of crops should be problem and need/demand base.
i) According to need of people of the area & family.
ii) On slop lands alternate cropping of erosion promoting and erosion resisting crops should be adopted.
iii) Under Dryland or limited irrigation, drought tolerant crops (Jowar, Bajra), in low lying & flood prone areas, water stagnation tolerant crops (Paddy, Jute) should be adopted.
iv) Crops should suit to the farmer’s financial conditions, soil & climatic conditions.
11) The crops of the same family should not be grown in succession because they act like alternate hosts for insect pests & disease pathogens and weeds associated with crops.
12) An ideal crop rotations is one which provide maximum employment to the family & farm labour, the machines and equipments are efficiently used so all the agril. Operations are done timely.

Advantages of Crop Rotation: An ideal crop rotation has the following advantages:

1. There is an overall increase in the yield of crops due to maintenance of proper physical condition of the soil and its OM content.
2. Inclusion of crops having different feeding zones and different nutrient requirements help in maintaining a better balance of nutrients in the soil.
3. Diversification of crops reduces the risk of financial loss from unfavorable weather conditions and damage due to pests & diseases.
4. It facilitates more even distribution of labour.
5. There is regular flow of income over the year.
6. The incidence of weeds, pests and diseases is reduced and can be kept under control.
7. Proper choice of crops in rotation helps to prevent soil erosion.
8. It supplies various needs of farmer & his cattle.
9. Agricultural operations can be done timely for all the crops because of less competition.
‘The supervisory work also becomes easier.”.
10. Proper utilization of all the resources and inputs could be made by following crop rotation:

Cropping systems & crop rotations followed in MS  & Marathwada:

Maharashtra:
1. Cotton – Jowar/ Bjra, Cotton – Jowar – Groundnut.
2. Sugarcane – Rice – Gram.
3. Cotton – Groundnut, Cotton – Jowar/ Bajara – Groundnut.
4. Sannhemp – Sugarcane.
5. Pre Cotton – R.Jowar/ Wheat/ Gram.
6. Rice – Gram.
7. Groundnut – Cotton – Jowar.
Marathwada:
1. Mung – Jowar – Cotton + Tur
2. Sunflower – Jowar.
3.Soybean – Jowar/ Safflower/ Gram.
4. Hy. Jowar – Gram / Sunflower / Safflower.
5. Bajara – Gram, Mung/Urd/ Soybean – R.Jowar, Safflower.
Irrigated:
1. Cotton – Groundnut, Sannhemp – Sugarcane – Groundnut.
2. Rice – Gram/ Sunflower.
3. Hy. Jowar – Wheat/ Jowar/ Gram.
4. Jowar – Sunflower – Groundnut.
5. Sunflower – Potato – Groundnut.
6. Groundnut – Wheat – Vegetables.
7. Sorghum – Wheat – Green gram – Cotton – Groundnut.
8. Bajara – cabbage – Groundnut – Cotton – Groundnut.

Current Category » Principles of Agronomy