Crop Rotations - Lessons Learned
and Changing Times
By M. Wayne Ebelhar, Ph.D.
Mississippi State University
Delta Research and Ext. Center
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With changing cropping systems and volatile markets, crop rotation offers the ability to increase yields without increasing inputs. The “rotation effect” has been observed in corn/soybean rotations for years and has also been quite evident in rotations involving cotton. Increases of 10–20% or more have been observed when averaged across years and various other inputs. This presentation will provide useful information for producers, consultants, county agents, and many other practitioners across the U.S. Midsouth and Southeast. Rotations can be useful all across the Cotton Belt. With the current farm legislation and freedom to farm, producers are not locked into particular growing systems. Crop options are numerous and are strongly influenced by markets and prices. This presentation will summarize changes in cropping systems and acres harvested and provide yield data to support long-term crop rotations. Many factors can influence the response to rotation—most of which provide increased yields without increasing the cost of inputs. This presentation also considers thought-provoking questions about how producers can make this work in their operations.