Crop rotation is practiced by using land continuously by planting various crops in a sequence that follows a definite cycle. The length of the rotation is the number of years it takes a cycle to be completed.
Example of a 4-year crop rotation plan:
- 1st year: Yam planted with melon
- 2nd year: Early maize followed by late beans
- 3rd year: Cassava followed by late beans
- 4th year: Non edible legume cover crops, livestock can be allowed to feed
- 5th year: start the cycle over again with the crops from year 1.
Cover cropping helps the farmer maximize the soil by:
- Alternating deep rooted crops with shallow rooted crops as such plant foods are tapped at different depths at different times.
- Crops of the grass and legume family are included in the rotation. The roots of grasses help check erosion while legumes make the soil rich in nitrogen.
- Cover cropping is also practiced as such increasing soil value.
The system helps control the buildup of pests, weeds, and diseases. If a plant is not grown on a year for a number of years, diseases associated with it are starved to death.