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Crop Rotation


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.

This photo is broken into three sections – one with a canola crop, another with a wheat crop, and another with a pulse crop. There is an image of illustrated rotating arrows in the middle of the crops.

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.

Roots of a canola plant have growths on them from the clubroot disease.

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.

There are three different illustrated groups – cereal crops, pulse crops, and oilseeds crops with an arrow between each image to portray rotating crops.

Farmers could rotate from a cereal crop, to an oilseeds crop, to a pulse crop.

An example of crop rotation would be:





Year 1




Illustrated versions of barley, oats, and wheat are standing next to each other.

A cereal crop such as wheat, barley, or oats can be grown. Cereals are often grown after pulse crops. 


Year 3

Illustrated versions of lentils, chickpeas, and peas are standing next to each other.

A pulse crop such as peas, lentils, or chickpeas. These add nitrogen into the soil.





Year 2




Illustrated versions of canola, flax, mustard, camelina, and sunflowers are standing next to each other.

An oilseeds crop such as canola, mustard, flax, or sunflowers.


Crop rotation is important for the health of crops.