Q:

What are some advantages and disadvantages of crop rotation?

A:

The primary advantages of crop rotation include preserving fertile soil, enhancing the health of crops and minimizing the amount of pests, while the primary drawbacks and challenges include lingering fungi and pests. Another major drawback is the time involved in preparing the soil for new crops.

Certain insects and pests feed on different types of crops. By rotating crops, a person removes the food resource preferred by one pest. Therefore, that particular pest eventually dies. It is also less likely that pest populations build up. A reduction in the pest population improves the quality of the soil and mitigates the amount of crops that are destroyed each season. Rich soil and healthy plants also contribute to fewer weeds. Fewer weeds and stronger plants minimize the amount of chemicals needed to grow crops.

Rotating crops often requires more time in preparing fields for crops ahead of rotations. This point is especially true when rotating every two years instead of every three to four years. Also, the fungi and pests left behind from a previous crop can potentially harm the new crop. Some crops coexist better with weeds and fungi, and a new crop may have a more difficult time. Plant debris can also cause diseases when the new crop is planted.


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