Farmers don’t grow the same crop on the same field year after year. They rotate the crops they grow on each field. This is a good farming practice called ‘crop rotation’.
Crop rotation helps reduce the risk of pests. A different crop is planted every year on the same field. Farmers plant a different crop so if a pest or disease likes a certain crop, it will not be on the same field the next year.
Crop rotation is when farmers switch the type of crop that is grown in each field from year to year.
Crop rotation helps the farmer manage pests because certain diseases and insects only like certain crops. For example, clubroot is a disease that affects only canola. By only seeding canola on the same field every 3 years, the clubroot disease cannot get too strong.
Clubroot is shown on the roots of this canola plant.
Crop rotation is also helpful for farmers to manage the nutrients in the field. Different crops have different nutrient needs. For example, peas are a pulse crop and can get nitrogen from the air so the farmer doesn’t need to add any nitrogen fertilizer.
Farmers could rotate from a cereal crop, to an oilseeds crop, to a pulse crop.
An example of crop rotation would be:
Crop rotation is important for the health of crops.