Crop Rotations: Economics & Benefits


Khanal, N. (2020) Crop rotations; Economics and benefits. In proceedings of Canadian Forage Seed Conference: Improving the Cropping System Resiliency, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; 25 – 26 February, 2020. Forage Seed News, Winter 2020; Vol 27, No 1, pp 11 - 13.

Plain language summary

Forage crops in rotation impart a basis for sustaining productivity and profitability of the cropping systems. High root biomass of perennial crops and nitrogen fixing capabilities of leguminous crops are instrumental in increasing soil organic carbon and nitrogen economy of production system while, rendering the soil more favourable for crop production. Prudent selection of appropriate sequence of crops is important for maximizing advantages of crop rotations. In response to market demand, both annual and perennial crops provide diversification options for averting production risks and stabilizing income, while enhancing soil health and environment.


Cropping sequences with diverse crop species yield higher and enhance the resilience of production system. A number of studies conducted in the Peace region and other parts of North America have shown multiple benefits of integrating forage seed crops in the cropping systems. Those benefits include soil conservation, soil structural development, nitrogen fixation and mineralization, impairment in crop disease cycle and thereby engendering conducive effects to boosted performance of succeeding crops. Lower cost of production and price advantage of niche market also impart profitability of perennial forage seed crops. This presentation reviews the merits of crop rotations in general and those of perennial forage seed crops in particular, with special reference to the studies conducted in the Peace region of western Canada.

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