Tuesday, September 3, 2019
Crop Rotation and Soil Sustainability Essay -- Agriculture Farming Pap
Crop Rotation and Soil Sustainability Agriculture is responsible for providing food for an ever-growing population, and as it becomes clear that yields cannot continue to rise without limit, sustainability of agricultural practices becomes an increasingly important question. The soil is a precious resource in which all of agriculture has its base, and careful management of this complex system is essential. Crop rotation is one of the most important management practices in a sustainable agriculture system, both as a means of conserving soil and of maintaining its fertility. "A well-thought-out crop rotation is worth seventy-five percent of everything else that might be done, including fertilization, tillage, and pest control" according to The New Organic Grower (Coleman, 1989, p. 50). Crop rotation is by no means confined exclusively to organic farming, although much of what is considered in planning a rotation sequence encompasses the concerns of the organic farmer. The difference is primarily one of sustainability. "The organic farmer is essentially turning part of his potential income into renewal of the soil (by adding organic matter) in order to assure sustainability of future crop production. The conventional system maximizes present income and is not as concerned about viewing soil as a long-term investment" (Poincelot, 1986, p.23). A varied sequence of crops provides benefits that a monoculture cannot. A monoculture is an unnatural system; the relationship between soil, plants, and climate is designed to be balanced by diversity. A carefully planned rotation that considers as many aspects of this relationship as possible is a significant step toward establishing sustainability. Although not all the effects of rotatio... ...ress, 245 p. Lal, R., A.A. Mahboubi, N.R. Falsey, 1994, Long-Term Tillage and Rotation Effects on Properties of a Central Ohio Soil: Soil Science Society of America Journal, 58: 517-522. Loomis, R.S. and D.J. Connor, 1992, Crop Ecology: Productivity and Management in Agricultural Systems: New York, Cambridge University Press, 538 p. Meek, B.D., D.L. Carter, D.T.Westermann, R.E. Peckenpaugh, 1994, Root-Zone Mineral Nitrogen Changes as Affected by Crop Sequence and Tillage: Soil Science Society of America Journal, 58: 1464-1469. Meek, B.D., D.L. Carter, D.T. Westermann, J.L. Wright, R.E. Peckenpaugh, 1995, Nitrate Leaching Under Furrow Irrigation as Affected by Crop Sequence and Tillage: Soil Science Society of America Journal, 59: 204-210. Poincelot, Raymond C., 1986, Toward a More Sustainable Agriculture: Westport CT, AVI Publishing Co. Inc., 241 p.