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Special crop rotations

Special crop rotations are crop rotations designed for cultivation of crops requiring special agrotechnics and special conditions.

Special crop rotations are divided into subtypes:

  • vegetable,
  • vegetable-forage,
  • rice,
  • melon,
  • hemp,
  • tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum),
  • strong tobacco (Nicotiana rustica),
  • strawberry,
  • fruits,
  • medicinal,
  • essential oils,
  • soil-protecting.

Vegetable crop rotations

Vegetable crop rotationscrop rotations specializing in the cultivation of vegetable crops. The most common among special crop rotations subtype, most often the fields of vegetable crop rotations are located near cities and industrial centers.

Depending on soil and climatic conditions, vegetable rotations differ significantly. In areas with limited heat, such as the Non-Black Earth Zone and Siberia, the range of vegetable crops is limited to white cabbage, table beets and carrots. More favorable in terms of heat regime, the forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part of Russia have a wider range of vegetable crops, including also tomato, cucumber, pepper, eggplant, onion and some others.

Vegetables are referred to crops of intensive farming. It is possible on the background of high doses of fertilizers using irrigation, so they are placed near water sources: near settlements, rivers, ponds, etc. It is desirable to place vegetable crop rotation fields in depressions and include one or two fields of perennial grasses.

Vegetable crops are sensitive to diseases, pests and weeds, especially in the initial phases of growth, which are the main factor reducing the yield.

Their rotation is largely determined by the peculiarities of biology and cultivation technology. For example, white cabbage and other cabbage family plants consume large amounts of nitrogen and respond well to the application of high doses of fresh manure with high nitrogen content. In contrast, tomato, pepper, eggplant, and onion suffer from excess nitrogen. For this reason, they are placed one year after perennial grasses or after crops under which fresh manure was applied. Decomposed manure is applied under vegetable crops.

Excess nitrogen negatively affects the formation of fruits of tomato, pepper, onion, garlic and affects their sturdiness. Excess nitrogen leads to accumulation of nitrates in plant parts in amounts exceeding maximum permissible concentrations (MPC).

Alternation of crops with deep penetrating root system, such as cabbage, carrots, table beet and others, with plants with shallow root system, such as cucumbers, onions and others allows more efficient use of soil fertility.

Principles of building vegetable crop rotations:

  • Due to the sensitivity of vegetable crops to diseases and pests, their repeated sowing, including plants of the same family, is not allowed.
  • When planning the scheme of alternation of vegetable crops take into account the peculiarities of their nutrition and impact on quality and shelf life of products.
  • Rotation must take into account the possibility of changing the roots in the fields.
  • Change of vegetable crops, depending on the timing of sowing and harvesting must provide an opportunity for timely preparation of the field for the following crop.
  • Vegetable crop rotation should be built taking into account the most effective use of irrigation systems, fertilization, tillage, protection of soil from erosion and the environment.

For the main zones of Russia on the basis of scientific research and accumulated production experience identified the best predecessors of vegetable and melon crops.

Table. Predecessors of vegetable and melon crops[1]Farming. Textbook for universities / G.I. Bazdyrev, V.G. Loshakov, A.I. Puponin et al. - M.: Publishing house "Kolos", 2000. - 551 p.

Non-Black Soil Zone
White cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, etc.Perennial grasses, legumes, sideral fallow, early potatoesOne year after perennial grasses, carrots, clubroot-stable varieties of cabbageCabbage and other cabbage plants, table and fodder beets
CarrotsAnnual grasses, cabbage, early potatoesTable and fodder beetsCarrots
Table beetAnnual grasses, carrots, early potatoesCabbageTable and fodder beets
PotatoesCabbage, annual grassesCarrots, table beets, one year after perennial grassesPotatoes
Forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part of Russia
White cabbage, etc.Perennial grasses, winter wheat, onions, cucumber, tomatoPotatoes, one year after perennial grassesCabbage crops
Tomato, eggplant, peppers, potatoesCucumber, cabbage, winter wheat, perennial grasses, corn for silage, herbsOnions, legumes, vegetable peas, one year after perennial grassesPotatoes and other nightshades
Cucumber, zucchiniCabbage, tomato, potatoes, legumesOnions, herbs, one year after perennial grassesCucumber, zucchini
Onions, garlicPotato, tomato, cucumber, winter wheatCarrots, cabbage, one year after perennial grassesOnions, garlic, perennial grasses
Beans, vegetable beans, vegetable peasTomato, cucumber, potato, onion, herbsCarrots, table beets, cabbageLegumes, perennial grasses
CarrotsCabbage, tomato, cucumber, potatoTable beets, carrots-
Table beetsPotato, tomato, onion, carrotCabbageTable and forage beets
Watermelon, melon, pumpkinPerennial grasses, winter cereals on bare fallowCorn for silage, legumes, sorghumMelon crops
Western Siberia and Altai
White cabbage, etc.Carrot, cucumber, bare fallow, one year after perennial grassesOnion, tomatoCabbage and other cabbages crops
TomatoOnions, carrots, cucumber, perennial grassesCabbageTomato, nightshade
CucumberOnions, cabbage, early potatoes, perennial grassesTomatoCucumber
CarrotsPerennial grasses, onions, cucumberCabbage, carrotsTomato
Table beetOnions, cucumber, annual grassesTomato, corn for silageCabbage, carrots
Onions, garlicCabbage, cucumber, annual grasses, bare fallow, one year after perennial grassesOnions (after bare fallow), one year after perennial grassesPerennial grasses, carrots
Watermelon, melon, pumpkinPerennial grassesWinter crops after black fallow, corn for silage, sorghum, melon cropsSpring wheat, grain-forage crops

The whole variety of vegetable crop rotations can be reduced to row crop and grass-row, sometimes species.

With a narrow specialization of farms in the production of certain species, the following vegetable rotations are recommended:

  • cabbage: 1 – cabbage, 2 – cucumber, 3 – cabbage, 4 – onion, 5 – carrot (40% of cabbage);
  • cucumber: 1 – cabbage, 2 – cucumber, 3 – onion, 4 – early potatoes, 5 – cucumber, 6 – table beet and carrot (33% of cucumber)
  • onions: 1 – cabbage, 2 – onions per turnip, 3 – tomato, 4 – cucumber, 5 – onions per turnip (40% onion).

In case of strong weed infestation of fields without irrigation, 4-5-field fallow-row crop rotations with one field of bare fallow are used. For example: 1 – bare fallow, 2 – onions, 3 – carrots, 4 – cabbage. Allowed after the cabbage placement of tomato, crop rotation in this case becomes a 5-field.

Non-Black Soil Zone of Russia

In the Non-Black Soil Zone of Russia, grass-row crop rotations with a limited set of vegetable crops are common. Heat-loving crops in this zone are practically not found in the open field, and perennial grasses are the best predecessors for the main crop of this zone – white cabbage.

Typical vegetable crop rotations for the Non-Black Soil Zone:

  • 1 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses, 2-3 – perennial grasses, 4 – cabbage, 5 – carrots, 6 – early potatoes, 7 – table beets;
  • 1 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses, 2-3 – perennial grasses, 4 – cabbage, 5 – clubroot-resistant cabbage, 6 – carrot and table beet;
  • 1 – clover of the 1st year of use, 2 – clover of the 2nd year of use, 3 – late cabbage, 4 – carrots, 5 – table root vegetables, 6 – cabbage, 7 – potatoes, 8 – annual grasses with undersowing of clover;
  • 1 – clover of the 1st year of use; 2 – late cabbage; 3 – carrots; 4 – potatoes; 5 – early cabbage; 6 – table beet; 7 – different vegetables; 8 – annual grasses with undersowing of clover.

To create more favorable conditions for fertility reproduction and phytosanitary condition of soils, in addition to perennial and annual grasses, intermediate crops are introduced into crop rotations.

According to the Research Institute of Vegetable Industry, intermediate crops of lupine, peas, phacelia for green fertilizer on sod-podzol soils of Moscow Region improve physical and biological soil parameters, increase the coefficient of nutrient use and increase the cabbage yield by 15-30% from 67 to 77-87 t/ha. The content of nitrates in the plants is reduced by more than 2 times.

At high saturation of crop rotations with vegetable crops the fields with perennial grasses are excluded by switching to row crop rotations. In such crop rotations, of great importance are intermediate crops for green manure and varieties resistant to characteristic diseases: 1 – annual fodder crops + post-mowing crops (peas, lupine, phacelia, etc.), 2 – cabbage, 3 – carrot, 4 – cabbage (clubroot-resistant varieties), 5 – table beet. If necessary, a field of early potatoes can be put after carrots. In this case the crop rotation becomes 6-field with improved phytosanitary properties.

In the central regions of the Non-Black Soil Zone on irrigated light soils, such as Moscow, Bryansk, Vladimir and other regions, to obtain early vegetables use row crop rotations:

  • 1 – green vegetables + siderate (lupine) as a second crop, 2 – early cabbage, 3 – early potatoes, 4 – carrots, 5 – table beets;
  • 1 – feather onions or other green vegetables, 2 – early cabbage and cauliflower, 3 – carrots and table beets, 4 – early potatoes.

Forest-steppe and steppe zones

In the forest-steppe and steppe zones of the European part of Russia due to a more favorable heat regime the assortment of vegetable crops is wider, including tomato, cucumber, pepper, eggplant, etc.

On fertile black earth soils under irrigated conditions, 6-field row crop rotations are used:

  • 1 – early potatoes + intermediate crops, 2 – cucumber, 3 – tomato, 4 – cabbage, 5 – tomato, 6 – onion for turnip and table root crops;
  • 1 – winter wheat + intermediate crop; 2 – cucumber; 3 – cabbage; 4 – tomato; 5 – onion for turnip and table root crops; 6 – early tomato.

In the second alternation it is allowed to replace early tomato with late one and to include vegetable peas after early tomato for green peas.

If soil fertility is high, crop rotations without perennial grasses are used. For example, on drained lowland lands in the Moscow region specialized vegetable farms use the following crop rotation: 1 – cabbage, 2 – carrots, 3 – onions, 4 – beets. On light loamy and sandy loam floodplain soils: 1 – early cabbage and radish, 2 – table root crops, 3 – cucumber, 4 – onion and green vegetables, 5 – tomato.

Southern Russia

On poorly cultivated heavy soils of the southern regions of Russia use grass-row vegetable crop rotations that include two fields of alfalfa with no cover crops and two fields of tomato: 1-2 – alfalfa (no cover crops), 3 – cabbage late sprouts, 4 – tomato, 5 – cucumber, 6 – tomato. Tomato share in this crop rotation accounts for 1/3 of the sown area.

The number of fields may be increased to 8 on the old-tillage heavy soils of the grass-row crop rotation, 3 of which (37,5%) are occupied by tomato, 2 fields – alfalfa, the remaining 3 – other vegetable crops: 1-2 – alfalfa of non-cover sowing, 3 – tomato, 4 – cucumber, 5 – onion for turnip or table root crops, 6 – tomato, 7 – cabbage, 8 – tomato.

For tomatoes and cabbage, a six-field grass-row crop rotation is recommended: 1-2 – non-cover alfalfa, 3 – late cabbage, 4 – tomato, 5 – late cabbage, 6 – tomato.

In southern regions, in contrast to the Non-Black Soil Zone, in vegetable rotations return of common cabbage varieties is possible more often.

On the fertile soils of the southern zone of European parts of Russia are recommended the following crop rotations: 1 – tomato, 2 – cucumber, 3 – tomato, 4 – cabbage, 5 – tomato, 6 – onion and root crops.

Western Siberia and Altai

In Western Siberia and Altai, intensive row crop rotations without perennial grass sowing are typical for farms near cities. On highly fertile soils 4-5-field crop rotations are used:

  • 1 – cabbage, 2 – onion, 3 – cucumber, 4 – tomato, 5 – carrot and table beet;
  • 1 – cabbage, 2 – onion to turnip, 3 – carrot, 4 – tomato;
  • 1 – cabbage, 2 – onion to turnip, 3 – cucumber, 4 – early potatoes.

In such crop rotations the whole arable area is occupied by vegetable crops.

Volga Region

For the Volga region under irrigated conditions the following schemes of alternation are recommended:

  • 1 – early potatoes, after harvesting sowing alfalfa, 2-3 – alfalfa of 1-2 years of use, 4 – cabbage, cucumber, 5 – tomato, eggplant, pepper, 6 – cabbage, cucumber, 7 – table root crops;
  • 1 – early potatoes, sowing of alfalfa after harvesting; 2-3 – alfalfa of 1-2 years; 4 – tomato, eggplant, pepper; 5 – cabbage; 6 – cucumber, onion; 7 – tomato; 8 – table root crops.

On soils with poor cultivation, the share of vegetable crops in the cropping pattern is reduced to 80-67%, and perennial and annual grasses and grains are put in 5- to 6-field crop rotations:

  • 1 – grains with undersowing of perennial grasses, 2 – perennial grasses, 3 – cabbage, 4 – cucumber, 5 – onion, 6 – tomato;
  • 1 – annual grasses, 2 – cabbage, 3 – cucumber, 4 – onion, 5 – carrot.

Vegetable-forage crop rotations

Vegetable-fodder crop rotations combine vegetable direction of specialization with forage production of green, silage and succulent fodder.

The basis of vegetable-fodder crop rotations is grass-row species, including vegetable crops, perennial and annual grasses, silage crops, forage root crops, potatoes of medium- and late-maturing varieties. In these crop rotations, both separate fields occupied by a single crop and combined fields are possible.

On highly fertile soils under conditions of sufficient moisture or irrigation, the following alternation schemes are effective:

  • 1 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses, 2-3 – perennial grasses, 4 – late cabbage, 5 – table root crops, 6 – potatoes, 7 – corn for silage, 8 – forage root crops;
  • 1 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses; 2-3 – perennial grasses; 4 – late cabbage; 5 – corn for silage; 6 – potatoes; 7 – carrots; 8 – table and forage beets.

Melon crop rotations

Cucurbit crop rotations are common in the Middle and Lower Volga region, South-East Russia and the North Caucasus. The main crop is watermelon and melon, as well as pumpkin, cultivated, in addition to these regions, in the southern regions of the Non-Black Earth zone, in the forest-steppe and steppe zones of European Russia and in the east – in Western Siberia, Trans-Urals, Altai and adjacent areas.

Melon crop rotations predominantly belong to the cereal-fallow-row and grass-fallow species. In the cereal-fallow-row crop rotation, melons are placed repeatedly two years after spring or winter wheat, following bare fallow:

  • 1 – bare fallow, 2 – winter wheat, 3 – watermelon, 4 – melon or pumpkin, 5 – leguminous, 6 – winter wheat, 7 – spring grain forage;
  • 1 – bare fallow, 2 – spring wheat, 3 – watermelon, 4 – melon or watermelon, 5 – spring wheat, 6 – spring grain forage.

Cucurbits are cultivated after alfalfa or its mixtures with vetch in grass-fallow rotations:

  • 1-3 – alfalfa, 4 – watermelon, 5 – watermelon, 6 – cereals with undersowing of alfalfa;
  • 1-3 – alfalfa mixed with oilseed rape, 4 – watermelon, 5 – melon or pumpkin, 6 – grains with undersowing of alfalfa.

Rice crop rotations

The main regions of rice cultivation and accordingly distribution of rice crop rotations are Kuban, Far East, lower reaches of Volga and Don. Rice cultivation is specific because of special technology of cultivation in flooded conditions on fallow fields – rice checks.

Obtaining of high rice yields is possible on soils with high content of organic matter, systematic leveling of checks, intensive aeration of soil before sowing and after harvesting of culture, for inactivation of toxic products of anaerobe microorganisms and intensive struggle with weed vegetation. To meet these conditions, a field with alfalfa and an agromeliorative field are introduced into rice crop rotations.

Rice survives 2 to 3 years of permanent cultivation, but it sharply decreases its productivity on the 4th-5th year because of waterlogging or soil salinization, reduction of aerobic soil microflora activity, accumulation of hydrogen sulfide and ferrous oxides. Permanent rice cultivation also leads to severe weed infestation of maps and checks and soil depletion by humus.

To prevent the negative impact of permanent cultivation, every 2-3 years rice crops are interrupted by row crops, perennial and annual grasses with sowing of intermediate crops for green fodder or as siderates.

After alfalfa, rice is cultivated continuously for no more than three years; after an agroameliorative field, which is a fallow field, for no more than two years. Agromeliorative field is divided into two equal parts. On one part, after harvesting rice, a mixture of winter vetch and wintering peas is sown, and after harvesting them for grain, leveling and half-fallow tillage are carried out. On the second part of the field after leveling and half-fallow tillage sow the same mixture for green forage. In September, after levelling work, both halves of the agromeliorative field are sown with the same mixture of winter vetch and wintering peas after harvesting green mass. Green mass of these crops is harvested in November and again in the middle of April of the next year. After the grass mixture is harvested in spring, the field is prepared for sowing rice.

Deep tillage allows to aerate the soil well for rice cultivation, and perennial grasses and green fertilizers replenish the stock of organic matter in the soil, which restores the activity of soil biota, suppresses weed vegetation. These techniques also apply to the agromeliorative field.

In Kuban, the lower reaches of the Don and Volga in farms specializing in the cultivation of rice, cereal-grass and cereal-rice crop rotations are used:

  • 1-2 – alfalfa, 3-4 – rice, 5 – seeded fallow (agromeliorative field), 6-7 – rice (with such alternation of crops, rice occupies 57% of the area);
  • 1-2 – alfalfa, 3-5 – rice, 6 – seeded fallow (agromeliorative field), 7-8 – rice.

The share of rice in these crop rotations is 62.5%. To increase the efficiency of rice crop rotations, intermediate crops for green manure are introduced: 1 – seeded fallow, 2-3 – rice + intermediate crops for green manure, 4 – rice.

The Far East is characterized by the same crop rotation patterns of rice crops as the European part of Russia. In addition, there are cereal-fallow-row crop rotations that include soybeans:

  • 1 – bare fallow (or soybeans for green fertilizer), 2-3 – rice, 4 – soybeans, 5-6 – rice;
  • 1 – clover of the 1st year of use, 2-4 – rice, 5 – soybeans for green manure, 6-7 – rice, 8 – oats with undersowing of clover.

In Krasnodar Krai the farm named after Maistrenko, “Krasnoarmeisky” uses rice rotation: 1 – lucerne 1st year of use, 2-3 – rice, 4 – fallow, occupied by leguminous, 5-6 – rice, 7 – winter wheat with undersowing of lucerne.

In Kazakhstan 6-8-field crop rotations with alternation of rice, perennial grasses and seeded fallow were introduced: 1-3 – lucerne of 1st to 3rd year of use, 4-6 – rice, 7 – seeded fallow, 8 – rice.

Hemp crop rotations

Special hemp crop rotations are common in the Central Russian zone, where hemp is traditionally cultivated: in Orel, Bryansk, Kaluga, Ryazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Tambov, Penza, Ulyanovsk, Kursk regions, republics of Mordovia, Bashkortostan, Chuvashia, Tatarstan.

Hemp is a crop with high nutrient and moisture requirements. It is sown on fertile black earth, river valley soils and on drained peatlands. The best predecessors of hemp are row crops, winter cereals and perennial grasses. Repeated sowing of hemp after clover, potato, corn, peas, and lupine for silage (on light soils) without significant decrease in yield is permitted on fertile soils.

The highest productivity is demonstrated by 4-6-field hemp crop rotations of row, grass-row and cereal-grass-row crop rotation, with a share of hemp in the structure of sown areas up to 50%:

  • 1 – potatoes, 2 – hemp, 3 – corn for silage, 4 – hemp;
  • 1 – potatoes, 2 – hemp, 3 – leguminous, 4 – hemp;
  • 1-2 – perennial grasses, 3-4 – hemp, 5 – corn, 6 – spring cereals or annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses;
  • 1 – corn, 2-3 – hemp, 4 – winter wheat, 5 – hemp, 6 – sugar beet, 7 – hemp;
  • 1 – forage root crops, 2 – hemp, 3 – potatoes, 4 – hemp.

In the Orel region the fertile soils near human settlements are used in the following hemp crop rotation: 1 – clover, 2 – hemp, 3 – sugar beet, 4 – potato, 5 – hemp, 6 – potato, 7 – hemp, 8 – spring crops with undersowing of clover.Hemp accounted for 37.5% of the area, which is placed after the best predecessors.

On light soils, hemp crop rotations include annual lupine: 1 – potatoes, 2 – hemp, 3 – annual lupine for silage or green fertilizer.

Cotton crop rotations

Cotton plants occupy large areas in the areas where irrigated agriculture is applied, Central Asian and Transcaucasian countries. To increase the share of cotton in special crop rotations, repeated sowing for 3-4 and more years in a row is introduced.

In Central Asian countries, nine- and ten-field cotton-alfalfa crop rotations are used. On cultivated, highly fertile soils, the following alternation schemes are introduced:

  • 1-2 – alfalfa, 4-10 – cotton;
  • 1-2 – alfalfa, 3-6 – cotton, 7 – corn, 8-10 – cotton;
  • 1 – alfalfa, 2-4 – cotton, 5 – corn, 6-10 – cotton.

Cotton share in these crop rotations is 70, 75, and 80% of area.

Cotton rotations are recommended for poorly cultivated but comparatively fertile soils, e.g. slightly and medium saline soils:

  • 1-2 – alfalfa, 3-6 – cotton, 7 – corn for grain, 8-10 – cotton;
  • 1-2 – alfalfa, 3-6 – cotton, grain maize with stubby seeding of rape or siderats, 8-10 – cotton;
  • 1-3 – alfalfa, 4-7 – cotton, 8 – corn for grain, 9-10 – cotton.

In these crop rotations, cotton accounts for 75%, 70, and 66.7%, respectively.

To increase the efficiency of cotton-alfalfa crop rotations, alfalfa crops are combined with Sudan grass or corn, and intercrops are introduced in autumn and under winter, which are harvested in spring for green fodder or ploughed before sowing cotton. The best intermediate crops are winter vetch, winter barley or rye, winter peas, shabdar, mustard, rape and others.

Intermediate crops, as a rule, are applied on the 3-5th year of cotton cultivation, after alfalfa plowing.

It should be noted that in Central Asia, when growing cotton in crop rotation, to produce 100 kg of raw cotton, 24% less labour is used than when cultivating it without rotation, 34% less fertilizer, 20% less irrigation water.

Tobacco crop rotations

Crop rotation of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)

Tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) is a thermophilic crop with a long growing season. For this reason, tobacco crop rotations are common in warm climates in the subtropical zone of Krasnodar Krai and the North Caucasus. It is one of the most labor-intensive technical crops. It is planted close to water sources and drying facilities. For this reason, tobacco is cultivated in special tobacco crop rotations with a narrow set of crops.

Tobacco crop rotations can be row, grass-fallow, and cereal-grass-row. They are based on placement of tobacco on the best for it predecessors – winter wheat, perennial grasses, sugar beets, corn, annual legumes and cereal grasses. Repeated sowing is allowed. Undesirable predecessors are hemp, sunflower, cucurbits, solanaceous crops. 

In the foothills of Krasnodar Territory the following tobacco crop rotation is used: 1-2 – 1-2 years of alfalfa, 3 – tobacco, 4 – corn, 5 – tobacco, 6 – annual grasses, 7 – tobacco, 8 – spring barley with undersowing of perennial grasses. The share of tobacco is 37.5% of total area.

Tobacco is cultivated after perennial grasses and in the third year after them in the following crop rotation: 1-2 – perennial grasses of 1-2 years of use, 3 – tobacco, 4 – corn or Sudan grass, 5 – tobacco, 6 – spring barley with undersowing of perennial grasses. Tobacco accounts for 33% of the area.

Some farms of Krasnodar region use crop rotation: 1-2 – perennial grasses of 1-2 years, 3 – winter wheat, 4 – tobacco, 5 – winter wheat, 6 – tobacco, 7 – Sudan grass, 8 – tobacco.

In Kuban foothills the following eight-field cereal-grass-row crop rotation is applied: 1-2 – perennial grasses, 3 – winter wheat, 4-5 – tobacco, 6 – winter wheat + intermediate crop, 7 – tobacco, 8 – corn.

In the humid subtropical zone of Krasnodar Krai, the following tobacco crop rotation was introduced: 1 – clover for two mowing, 2 – tobacco + intermediate crop, 3 – corn + intermediate crop, 4 – tobacco, 5 – grains with undersowing of clover.

Crop rotation of strong tobacco (Nicotiana rustica)

Strong tobacco (Nicotiana rustica, Russian for “mahorka”) is a temperate crop, cultivated in Mordovia, the Central Black Earth zone, Chuvashia, Tatarstan and Western Siberia. The best predecessors of strong tobacco are winter cereals, corn, root crops, legumes, perennial grasses, vegetable crops except solanaceae. Strong tobacco may be repeatedly sown. Unwanted predecessors are potatoes, hemp, sunflowers, cucurbits that have pests, diseases and weeds in common with it, for example, Orobanche. Strong tobacco is a predecessor for many other crops.

Among the strong tobacco crop rotations are used:

  • grass-fallow rotations:
    • 1-2 – perennial grasses, 3-4 – strong tobacco, 5 – leguminous cereals, 6 – strong tobacco, 7 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses – 42.7% of strong tobacco;
    • 1 – clover, 2-3 – strong tobacco, 4 – corn for silage, 5 – strong tobacco, 6 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses – 50% of strong tobacco;
  • row rotations:
    • 1 – corn for silage, 2-3 – strong tobacco, 4 – leguminous, 5 – strong tobacco – 60% tobacco;
    • 1 – annual grasses, 2 – strong tobacco, 3 – root crops, 4 – strong tobacco – 50% strong tobacco.

Strawberry and fruit crop rotations

Strawberries are a perennial plant that can withstand 4 to 6 years of perennial planting. Strawberries can be returned to their original place after 2-3 years. The best predecessors include bare and seeded fallow, and row crops of early harvest.

In the Non-Black Soil and forest-steppe zones used strawberry fallow-row rotation with a bare and sideral fallows: 1 – bare fallow with the planting of strawberry seedlings in late summer, 2 – strawberries, 3-6 – strawberries 1-4 years of fruiting, 7 – sideral fallow, 8 – winter cereals.

Strawberry rotations may use perennial grasses: 1 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses, 2-3 – perennial grasses, 4 – early white cabbage or early potatoes with strawberries planted in late summer, 5 – strawberries, 6-9 – strawberries 1-4 years of fruiting.

In fruit nurseries, two crop rotations are used in the plots:

  • for propagation of sowing rootstocks;
  • for the formation of grafted sapling.

In both cases, introduce grass-fallow-row crop rotations. The following scheme of rotation is used for propagation of sowing rootstocks: 1 – annual grasses with undersowing of perennial grasses, 2-3 – perennial grasses, 4 – winter or spring cereals, 5 – bare fallow, 6 – rootstocks, 7 – early row crops, 8 – rootstock of stone fruit species.

In plot for propagation of sowing rootstocks may use crop rotation without perennial grasses: 1 – bare fallow or green manure with autumn sowing of seeds of fruit crops, 2 – rootstock, 3 – leguminous or annual grasses, 4 – early row crops + intermediate crops for green fertilizer.

In plot for the formation of grafted sapling – eight-field crop rotation: 1 – bare fallow or green manure with autumn sowing of seeds of fruit crops, 2 – rootstock, 3 – leguminous or annual grasses, 4 – early row crops + intermediate crops for green fertilizer, 5 – bare fallow or green manure, 6 – seedlings, 7 – annuals, 8 – biennials.

Medicinal and essential oil crop rotations

Currently, more than 50 species of medicinal plants are introduced into cultivation, providing up to 70% of medicinal raw materials for the pharmaceutical industry. Among medicinal plants are perennial and annual plants. Most of them are cultivated in specialized farms in the south of Russia.

Some medicinal plants: Perennials – peppermint (Mentha piperita), valeriana medicinalis (Valeriana officinalis), motherwort five-spined (Leonurus quinquelobatus), rhubarb of Tangut (Rheum palmatum) and annuals – camomile (Matricaria chamomilla), Calendula and winter rye are cultivated in the Non-Black Earth and forest-steppe zones of Russia and in some areas of Siberia and the Far East.

Among the essential oil crops are annual coriander (Coriandrum sativum), common anise (Pimpinella anisum) and perennial cumin. In southern areas perennials are grown: melissa medicinal, clary sage (Salvia sclarea), etc.

Medicinal and aromatic crops are subject to high requirements for product purity. Therefore they are cultivated in environmentally clean conditions. Cultivation technology excludes their contamination with residual agrochemicals, so the importance is given to the use of organic fertilizers, agrotechnical and biological methods of plant protection from diseases, pests and weeds, and first of all, to crop rotation.

In most cases, medicinal and essential oil crops are introduced into conventional field, special and sometimes forage crop rotations. They are placed on the best predecessors – bare and seeded fallows, perennial grasses, leguminous, after winter crops, following the best predecessors, row crops.

Perennial medicinal and essential oil-bearing crops can be bred in the non-rotation fields, in which they are cultivated continuously for several years.

Soil-protecting crop rotations

Main article: Crop rotations: Soil-protecting crop rotations

In modern agrolandscape farming systems, crop rotations are required to ensure soil protection and conservation functions, especially on lands at risk of water or wind erosion.

Soil-protective crop rotations are those intended to protect soils from water erosion on slopes of more than 5°, where soil wash-out can reach 15 t/ha per year, and wind erosion, for example in open steppe, where wind speed near surface is more than 3-4 m/s.

Soil-protective crop rotations are based on the properties of some crops to protect the soil from erosion, combined with special methods of tillage and crop placement.


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