Crop Rotations: Farming Practices, Monitoring and Environmental Benefits

Bau-Luo Ma (Editor)
Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri–Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Series: Agriculture Issues and Policies
BISAC: TEC003030

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Crop Rotations: Farming Practices, Monitoring and Environmental Benefits, edited by Dr. Bao-Luo Ma, a senior research scientist from Agriculture and Agri-Food in Canada, includes contributions from more than twenty-eight scientists in this dynamic field from around the world. This book synthesizes the latest innovations and integrated knowledge from science disciplines as diverse as agronomy, soil science, ecology, economy, and social sciences. The global population is projected to reach nine billion by mid-century. Questions continue to arise concerning the ability of the agriculture sector to keep pace with the demands for food, feed, fibre and fuel of an increasing population in the near future, as well as finding a way of sustaining both the production system and the environment.

Crop rotations, an ancient practice that has gained renewed interest in recent years, involve growing different crop species/varieties on the same piece of land in consecutive growing seasons (years). The direct and indirect benefits of this practice to the production system and the environment have been recognized for millennia. In recent years, it has been documented that crop rotations coupled with conservation tillage has enhanced the physical, chemical and biological properties of soil, improved seasonal nitrogen availability, and provided nitrogen inputs through symbiotic nitrogen fixation by legumes.

This strategy can also lead to a better balance of plant nutritional requirements and a shift in soil mycorrhizal populations, interrupt insect populations, increase root activity, reduce disease severity, enhance environmentally-friendly biodiversity, and lower per-area greenhouse gas emissions or per-yield based carbon footprints. This book serves as one of the most recent and valuable reference on these multi-disciplines, and targets audiences at the undergraduate and graduate level, including crop, soil and agronomy scientists as well as environment scientists and policy-makers.
(Imprint: Nova)

Preface

Chapter 1
Crop Productivity and Environment Impact in a Maize-Legume Rotation System: A Review
(Bao-Luo Ma, and Wei Wu, Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri–Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada, and others)

Chapter 2
Crop Rotation Trends: Past, Present and Future Benefits and Drivers
(William Deen, Ralph C. Martin, Dave Hooker, Amélie Gaudin, University of Guelph, Department of Plant Agriculture, Guelph, ON, Canada, and others)

Chapter 3
Legume-Cereal Crop Rotation Systems in China
(Zhao-Hai Zeng, Zhan-Yuan Lu, Ying Jiang, Kai Zhang, Ya-Dong Yang, and Pei-Yi Zhao, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China, Haidian District, Beijing, China, and others)

Chapter 4
Rotation of Peanut and Cotton with Bahiagrass to Improve Soil Quality and Crop Productivity
(Duli Zhao, David Wright, Jim Marois, and Diane Rowland, USDA-ARS Sugarcane Field Station, Canal Point, Florida, USA, and others)

Chapter 5
Land Use Practices, Cropping Systems and Climate Change Vulnerability to Mountain Agro-Ecosystems of Nepal
(Kalidas Subedi, Netra B. Chhetri, and Tika B. Karki, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada, and others)

Chapter 6
Crop Rotation Systems and Their Ecological Impacts in the Loess Plateau of China
(Youcai Xiong, Feng-Min Li, Sabeeh ur Rasool Sabir, Nudrat Aisha Akram, Xiao-Ling Wang, Fei Mo, School of Life Sciences, State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agroecosystem, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, China, and others)

Chapter 7
Crop Rotation and Cover Crop in Pest and Disease Management in Sustainable Agriculture
(Qing Yu, and Yuejing Qiao, Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri–Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada, and others)

Chapter 8
Carbon Footprints in Crop Rotation Systems
(Chang Liang, Aruna W. Herath and Bao-Luo Ma, Environment Canada, Pollutant Inventories and Reporting Division, Gatineau, QC, Canada, and Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri–Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada)

Index

“Crop rotation has been in use since antiquity. In the years since much has been learned as to how crop rotation affords beneficial effects to cropping systems. A diverse group of international scientists does an excellent job of reviewing what has been learned up to the current day. Cropping systems from around the world are examined in detail with a considered mixture of soil and plant sciences, entomology, ecology, economics, and social sciences. It is an excellent read for all interested in this important area.” - Professor Donald G. Bullock, University of Illinois, Former Editor of Agronomy Journal

“Crop Rotations: Farming Practices, Monitoring and Environmental Benefits is a timely update to our understanding of how rotation benefits current productivity goals while conserving essential environmental resources of soil, water, air and biodiversity for long term sustainability. The historical perspective and consideration of the agronomic functioning of rotations in large agricultural regions and major cropping systems illustrate the broad application of this practice. At a time when agricultural contributions to climate change are being re-evaluated, this book highlights the benefits of the ancient practice of crop rotation and provides a clear rationale for the continued and expanded use of rotation going forward.” - Dr. Lianne M. Dwyer, Chair of Executive Committee of Agriculture Institute of Canada, Former Science Director and Research Scientist of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

“Crop rotations provide an important degree of biodiversity in contemporary cropping systems. Their role as a systems approach to food production is key, and will be increasingly important as we seek to better understand the biological subtleties of crop plants and their production under field conditions. This book provides an important and timely overview of the situation.” - Dr. Donald L. Smith, James McGill Professor, Director and CEO, BioFuelNet Canada Director, McGill Network for Innovation in Biofuels and Bioproducts, McGill University

This book has synthesized the latest innovations and integrated knowledge from science disciplines as diverse as agronomy, soil science, crop physiology and ecology, economy, and social sciences. It will serve as the most recent and valuable references on the multi-disciplines and targets audiences of undergraduate and graduate students, crop, soil and agronomy scientists as well as environment scientists and policy makers.

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