Crop rotations

Crop rotations occour when different crops are planted in succession, on the same area of land. Benefits of this practice are that they provide a disease break as diseases specific to one crop are denied a host for several years.

Crop rotations that include a legume phase (e.g. lucerne) increase the nitrogen content of organic residues and soil. The quality of the diet for decomposer organisms is increased.

Cropping soil with lucerne growing in rotation.

Effects of legume in crop rotations on soil biota include:

  • Increase in abundance of some small soil animals
  • Increase in earthworm abundance
  • Increase in soil microbial biomass