Crop rotations receive considerable attention by producers, crop specialists and scientists. Specific rotations can impact the emergence of diseases, insects, soil fertility, plant nutrients and moisture control.
Crop rotations play an important role in an integrated approach to disease management. Diverse crop rotations can be used to break disease cycles and reduce pathogen levels and disease pressure between host crops. When a pathogen survives in the field (either in the soil or on infected crop residue), time away from a host crop will provide time for the infected residue to decompose and for the number of living pathogen spores or resting structures in the soil to decline. This means that there will be lower levels of the pathogens present to cause disease the next time a susceptible crop is grown.
Crop rotation can be beneficial in reducing insect pressure between host crops impacted by insects that overwinter in Saskatchewan. Insects that are impacted by changes in weather are not affected by crop rotation.
Saskatchewan soils can be low in macro and micronutrients. This publication discusses several ways that crop rotation can help optimize or improve nutrient use along with water use in sequential growing seasons.