Revisiting the multiple benefits of historical crop rotations within contemporary UK agricultural systems

OGG Knox, AR Leake, RL Walker, AC Edwards, CA Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On many farms, current cultivation and planting practices hold little resemblance to those of the past. However, with volatility in fertiliser price, changing climatic conditions, stricter environmental legislation and a requirement for alternatives to high input farming, it is perhaps timely to reconsider the potential for crop rotation. Historical records show that practiced rotations have changed due to adaptation of cropping systems, machinery, inputs and economics. Despite this regional differences in rotations, in terms of length of cropping sequence, practiced in the United Kingdom, and in particular Scotland still exist and persist in many organically managed systems. Knowledge gained from past experiences can be utilised and where appropriate used to support modern cropping systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163 - 179
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sustainable Agriculture
Volume35
Publication statusFirst published - 2011

Fingerprint

cropping systems
environmental law
cropping sequence
Scotland
United Kingdom
farming systems
planting
fertilizers
economics
farms

Bibliographical note

60900018
wp1.7

Keywords

  • Alternate husbandry
  • Ley farming
  • Rotation
  • Soil fertility
  • Sustainable

Cite this

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AB - On many farms, current cultivation and planting practices hold little resemblance to those of the past. However, with volatility in fertiliser price, changing climatic conditions, stricter environmental legislation and a requirement for alternatives to high input farming, it is perhaps timely to reconsider the potential for crop rotation. Historical records show that practiced rotations have changed due to adaptation of cropping systems, machinery, inputs and economics. Despite this regional differences in rotations, in terms of length of cropping sequence, practiced in the United Kingdom, and in particular Scotland still exist and persist in many organically managed systems. Knowledge gained from past experiences can be utilised and where appropriate used to support modern cropping systems.

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