Q:

What is a fallow field?

A:

Quick Answer

A fallow field is land that a farmer plows but does not cultivate for one or more seasons to allow the field to become more fertile again. The practice of leaving fields fallow dates back to ancient times when farmers realized that using soil over and over again depleted its nutrients. A three-field rotation system was used in medieval times in which one field was always fallow.

Know More

Full Answer

Agricultural experts debate whether the practice of fallow fields is necessary in modern farming and, if it is, how often a farmer needs to let a field go fallow. Most, however, agree that the practice at some interval or another is beneficial, and for dryland farming, it is particularly useful. All other factors being equal, fields that lie fallow do tend to produce better crops the next year. Other farmers choose to rotate crops to retard soil depletion, arguing that planting different crops in different years in a particular field is successful in keeping the soil healthy. Jewish farmers are diligent about the practice because it is commanded by the Torah. Modern farmers who do not want to "waste" a field by allowing it to go fallow plant companion crops or use fertilizers to rejuvenate the soil.

Learn more about Soil

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What kind of soil is in the desert?

    A:

    Depending upon the type of desert, soils range from coarse and rocky to fine and salty. Typically, deserts are divided into four categories: arid, semiarid, coastal and cold.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does soil form?

    A:

    Soil forms from a parent material deposited at the surface of the Earth, such as weathered bedrock or small materials carried by blowing winds, moving glaciers and flooding rivers. The parent material transforms or changes into soil over time. The major factors that affect soil formation are parent material, climate, landscape, living organisms and time.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are coniferous forest soil types?

    A:

    The most common types of soils in coniferous forests are called podzol soils. Podzol soils are defined by their thin surface layers and high acid content. Their composition varies depending on their location on earth and is subject to variation from temperature differences and geographical factors, such as terrain and the presence or absence of air, water and minerals.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the white stuff in potting soil?

    A:

    The white material in commercial potting soil is perlite or vermiculite, substances that retain water and add texture to the soil to keep it from becoming compacted. Most commercial potting soil mixtures are made up of at least 25 percent perlite.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore