Title: Sequencing Crops to Improve Grain Yields Author
Submitted to: Agrokultura
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 23, 2006
Publication Date: July 1, 2006
Citation: Anderson, R.L. 2006. Sequencing crops to improve grain yields. Agrokultura. 1:36-41. Interpretive Summary: With the change in governments in Ukraine, producers now have the choice and freedom to plan different rotations and tillage systems. This change provides an opportunity for producers to improve yield with crop diversity, the rotation effect, and improved soil health. To help producers plan rotations for the most favorable sequences, yield trends as affected by crop sequence are summarized. Principles are suggested to provide producers with planning tools for rotation design. Also, examples of how the rotation effect can be accentuated across longer sequences of crops are discussed. Ukraine has a unique opportunity to accrue rotational benefits because an array of crops and markets are already available; producers can use crop diversity as a management tool immediately.
Technical Abstract: Cropping practices are changing in Ukraine, with producers considering different rotations and tillage systems. This trend provides an opportunity for producers to improve yield with crop sequencing, a benefit known as the rotation effect. To help producers plan rotations for the most favorable sequences, we describe yield trends as affected by crop sequence as reported from several continents. The highest yield gain occurs when rotating grass and broadleaf crops; with some sequences, grain yield may increase 45% compared to monoculture. However, the benefit of rotation can be specific to the crops in sequence. Crops also respond differently to the rotation effect; some crops are more efficient with resource use whereas other crops increase yield by consuming more resources. With some rotations, the favorable impact on yield can persist for two years. Yield gain due to crop rotation may be further enhanced by long rotations and more crop diversity; yield potential of some crops has been doubled with diverse rotations.