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Crop Rotation Planning Considerations

By Cory Jacob, Provincial Specialist Oilseed Crops, Regina, John Ippolito, Crops Extension Specialist, Kindersley and Sara Tetland, Crops Extension Specialist, Moose Jaw

July 2020

The crop rotation planning considerations table was developed to help producers and agronomists with crop rotation decisions, particularly those in the black soil zone where there are tight crop rotations and a lack of crop diversity. With the presence of clubroot in the black soil zone and mainly in Northwestern Saskatchewan crop rotations need to be lengthened to manage the disease. This table shows the potential risks of seeding crops on certain stubble types and what follow crops are recommended. Since the focus of this document is the black soil zone, crops typically grown in the brown and dark soil zone are not included but it is acknowledged that certain crops grow in the brown and dark brown soil zone are also grown in the black soil zone.

When looking at the table you will see previous crop along the left side and along the top is the planned crop for the upcoming year. Wording highlighted in green indicates recommended for rotational crop and highlighted in red means there is a potential problem. It has to be noted that not all potential risks are mentioned but main concerns to be considered, the same with potential benefits.

Based on the table we can see many rotational crops are recommended and not recommended. Typically, a cereal crop on pulse or oilseed stubble is recommended and a pulse crop on cereal stubble is fine as well, but there are potential risks for a pulse crop on oilseed stubble. Oilseed crops are recommended to be grown on cereal stubble and there are risks to consider when an oilseed crop is seeded onto pulse crop stubble. Typically, a crop seeded on the same crop types stubble is not recommended, such as oilseed on oilseed stubble or a pulse crop on pulse stubble or a cereal crop on cereal stubble, a change to another crop type is best. We encourage producers to use this guide to make crop planning decisions and to realize that this is only a guide and does not include every risk or benefit.

For more information, the 2020 Guide to Crop Protection (page 79-80) discusses re-cropping restrictions for residual herbicides. The 2020 Crop Planning Guide is useful to help producers to estimate the costs and returns of producing different common crops. Principles and Practices of Crop Rotation discusses crop rotations and considerations.

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