Planning Your Crop Rotation

A sound rotation has many benefits; here we discuss a few key points when planning to improve the performance of your farm.

All plants have favoured soil types and climates which need to be appreciated when choosing which crops to introduce into the rotation. Barley for example is very tolerant of Sodium Soils, Peas thrive with high altitude, cool conditions, while Sorghum and Sunflowers are particularly suited to hotter areas such as Narok.

Inspecting Barley field in Narok

Selecting the right variety goes a long way to helping the crop to reach its potential, and even more detail can be gained by a simple soil testing program to ensure that the right fertiliser program is used on that crop.

Varied cropping means that a range of soil organisms and root structures are supported, leading to improved soil structure and function, higher yields, soils that are more resilient in times of drought stress.

Weed burden is often overlooked with rotational planning, yet it offers a fantastic opportunity to introduce plants with different growth habits to out-compete specific weeds, and to use different herbicide chemistry.

Like weeds, many pests and diseases enjoy continuous cropping, and allows them to build up to levels that reduces the profitability of the crop.

On top of the soil health and productivity gains, having a range of crops makes strong financial sense; the spread of risk in a poor harvest harvest or weak market, and improved cashflow.

A good agronomist will guide you through the decision making process to find the right crops for your farm.

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