Conservation Crop Rotation
Small grains, hay and row crops grown in rotation. Photo courtesy USDA NRCS.
Conservation crop rotation is a system for growing several different crops in planned succession on the same field, including at least one soil-conserving crop such as perennial hay. Including a soil-conserving crop in the rotation reduces the risk of soil erosion and runoff to nearby waters. Conservation crop rotations in Minnesota typically include row crops alternating with small grains and hay or vegetable crops.
Conservation crop rotations are most effective when used together with nutrient management as well as upland erosion and runoff control practices such as conservation tillage, contour farming and grassed waterways.
Practices similar to conservation crop rotations include cover crops, stripcropping and contour buffer strips.
Guidance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service
See contacts for specific programs that fund this practice in the side-by-side payment comparison or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District