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Solution: Crop Rotation

Crop Rotation:  Changing the crops grown in a field, usually in a planned sequence.

 

How it Works

Photo of crop rotation

Crop rotations in Wisconsin typically include corn, legumes, and small grains. Rotations that include small grains and alfalfa can significantly reduce soil erosion. Alfalfa and other legumes in the rotation can save fertilizer costs because they replace the nitrogen that corn and other grains remove from the soil. Rotations reduce pesticide use by naturally breaking the cycle of weeds, insects and diseases.

Planning

  • Design crop rotations to meet your farm’s needs and goals for yields and erosion control.
  • Rotations that contain small grains and hay provide better erosion control.
  • Sod or hay-based rotations offer longterm crop production flexibility.
  • Reduce the potential for nitrate leaching to groundwater by rotating crops that provide nitrogen (alfalfa, clover, soybeans) with crops that use nitrogen (corn, wheat).

Maintenance

  • Consider the potential for herbicide carryover to avoid crop failure.
  • Consider the nitrogen credit when replacing a legume with corn or other grains.

 

Questions?  Ask a Conservationist!