Crop Rotation For Reducing The Risk Of Climate Change On Farm Level
Posted by NYCA Blogger on February 15, 2010
By Niraj Prasad Koirala, Rampur Agriculture Campus, Chitwan
Crop rotation is a planned order of crop sequence on the same piece of land over time. The purpose of a rotation is to increase the average profit from the land by selecting a cropping sequence that has more additive than non-additive benefits. Farmers who are inclined to pay little or no attention to rotations say that the seasons are too variable due to climate change and the choice of crops is too limited. While climate, soils do limit choice of crops; benefits can still be gained from well-planned rotations (Helm L.James, 2006). The agriculture sectors contributes more than 35 % of the total GDP and more than 80% Nepalese are engaged in this occupation in Nepal. Climate change is decreasing the production of different crops and making Nepalese Government more dependent upon others for feeding own citizens. Due to this Nepal is being poorer. So to lessen the influence of adverse climate change on agriculture, crop rotation can be useful and profitable methods because,
Climate change imposes several limitations on choice of crops
Precipitation; It is variable and usually limited.
Temperature: -Both soil and air temperatures change and have their effect on crop choices.
Profits of crop rotations in case of climate change
Judicious use of soil nutrient:-Early maturing crops allow moisture accumulation after harvest while late maturing, deep rooted crops may leave very little nutrients reserve for the next crop.
Weed control:-Weed problem is a serious problem and the infestation of new serious weeds is seen. Crop rotation prevents weed seed production. The practice of delayed seeding is often used to permit weed emergence. Fall rye included in the rotation, especially on summer fallow, is an effective control practice for wild oat and other weeds due to the competitive ability of rye. Perennial grasses and legumes grown for several years and pastured or cut for hay or silage are also good weed control crops.
Soil productivity:-The green house gases such as CO2 fasten the growth of the plant rapidly but in happening so, reduction of soil nutrient occurs. However, if we practice crop rotations, it increases soil nutrients. Crop rotations including legume leaves nitrogen in the soil and by incorporating the legume plant the organic carbon in soil increases.
Wind and water erosion: -Can be reduced by practices such as strip cropping, contour farming and terraces. Rotations can also help when added to these practices. Cropping practices and tillage method are probably more important than rotations for erosion control. Where water erosion is serious, the field or area should be seeded to a permanent sod. Where wind erosion is a serious, plant residue and vegetative barriers are tools to use.
Reference: Helm.L.James, 2006-Extension Agronomist, North Dakota University. Article name-Crop rotations for profit in North Dakota