Q:

How is crop rotation important to cotton farmers?

A:

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Crop rotation is important to cotton farmers because it promotes nutritionally balanced soil and larger harvests. Cotton places great demands on soil because it depletes many of its nutrients, especially nitrogen. This quickly renders the land unsuitable for many other crops. Regularly switching crop locations reduces the negative impact cotton has on arable ground and promotes large harvests of valuable cotton.

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Crop rotation also offers additional benefits such as stable soil moisture levels and effective drainage. After each harvest, the crops' remains decay into natural compost, preparing the land for the next planting.

Crop rotation also reduces pests. Those that feed on one crop do not necessarily flock to another. This increases harvest yields and reduces the need for toxic chemical pesticide treatments. Cotton farmers maximize the benefits of crop rotation by carefully selecting crops that prime the soil for future cotton harvests. Peanuts and sorghum are extremely popular in commercial cotton rotation cycles.

Another crucial benefit of crop rotation is weed control. Rotating crops with different properties makes it difficult for weeds to establish themselves and adapt to varied growing conditions. Weed reduction is extremely important for cotton farmers because it reduces wasted ground space and minimizes the need for harsh chemical herbicides. It also prevents tenacious weeds from developing herbicidal resistance, thereby making basal weed control more effective.

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