The educational materials listed on this page are about Crop Rotation.
Crop rotation is an important part of any sustainable cropping system. As you develop a crop rotation plan, seek out crop rotation guides and examples, which will help you maximize the benefits of crop rotation. For example, see SARE’s Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual, which includes in-depth information about the advantages of crop rotation and real-world examples of vegetable crop rotation plans and crop rotation charts. Another useful resource is the SARE topic brief Cover Crops for Sustainable Crop Rotations, which summarizes the usefulness of rotating cover crops in any cropping system.
Crop rotation can be employed in many types of cropping systems, including vegetables, agronomic crops, livestock and organic. There are many benefits and advantages of crop rotation: a careful crop rotation plan supports ecological pest management, improves soil health, and helps with nutrient management and soil fertility management, among other benefits. Carefully planned rotations including forage crops and cover crops can improve the sustainability of dairy farming systems. Learn more from the SARE fact sheet Alternative Continuous-Cover Dairy Forage System for Profitability, Flexibility and Soil Health.
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Soil Health Principles and Practices Videos
Experienced farmers and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) provide information on managing and improving soil health. Farmers discuss practices such as cover cropping, and using mulch and compost to improve soil health.
Building Soils for Better Crops
The fourth edition of Building Soils for Better Crops—enhanced and expanded—explains how to use ecological principles to build soil health and boost fertility, yields and overall sustainability.
New “Cover Crops and Soil Health” Video from SARE
The newest episode of SARE’s "What is Sustainable Agriculture" animation series illustrates how producers can use cover crops to improve productivity and sustainability. In just a few short minutes, “Cover Crops and Soil Health” outlines how cover crops can build soil structure, protect water quality, suppress pests and improve a farm's bottom line. Combining cover […]
Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch
As producers throughout the nation grow increasingly concerned about water scarcity, farmers, ranchers and agricultural educators are beginning to explore new, conservation-oriented approaches to water use.
A Whole Farm Approach to Managing Pests
This 16-page bulletin helps producers—and the educators who work with them—use ecological principles across the entire farm to control pests.
Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast
This production manual provides comprehensive guidance on conservation tillage systems for farms in the southeastern United States. It covers the core components of conservation tillage systems and includes both regional considerations and producer experiences.
Free Fact Sheets Identify Broad Benefits of Cover Crops
Along with cutting costs and increasing crop productivity, cover crops provide various ecosystem services that benefit the environment both on and off the farm. For instance, adding cover crops to a rotation can significantly increase the portion of the year when living roots are present for soil organisms to feed on, which can have a […]
Cover Crop Economics Report Now Available in Print
Cover Crops Offer Options in Wet Soil As more farmers across the nation begin to incorporate covers into their rotations, they find that this valuable conservation practice pays in more ways than one. Many farmers in states suffering from oversaturated fields that prevented or delayed planting are considering cover crops. To help farmers evaluate the […]
When Do Cover Crops Pay? New USDA-SARE Report Addresses the Question
Farmers around the country are planting cover crops on millions of acres to protect and improve the soil, and the more that farmers use cover crops, the more they value this conservation practice. Cover Crop Economics, a new report published by USDA-SARE looks at the economics of cover crops to help farmers answer that big […]
What is Soil Health?
Soil health plays an essential role in raising healthy, productive crops and livestock. With this interactive infographic, learn how practices such as cover crops, no-till, crop rotation and the integration of livestock work in concert to improve soil health.
Cover Crop Economics
Cover crops can build soil health, control weeds, conserve moisture, provide grazing opportunities and more. But when do they start to pay for themselves? This analysis looks at the economics behind different management scenarios to determine if cover crops are likely to improve profitability in one, three or five years of use in corn and soybean rotations.
Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches
This bulletin outlines the new challenges that changing weather patterns pose in agriculture throughout the United States, and what you can do to make your farm more resilient.
Capitalize on the booming organic industry. This topic room has resources on organic systems, pest management, animal production, marketing, certification, conservation and much more.
Cover Crop Role in the Cropping System
- Cover Crops and Nutrient Management
- Cover Crop Impacts on Diseases and Insects
- Cover Crops, Herbicides and Dealing with Herbicide-Resistant Weeds
Advanced Cover Cropping Insights from Farmer Experts
- Great Plains Perspective
- Central Corn Belt Perspective
- Eastern Perspective
Innovative Assessment Helps Farmers in the Northeast Improve Soil Health
Improving soil health without understanding the soil's condition is not easy and traditional soil tests, though important management tools, don't provide information on the physical structure or microbial life living in the soil. That is why a multidisciplinary team at Cornell University created a soil health assessment, which measures physical, chemical and biological indicators […]
Cover Crops for Soil Health Workshop
All session recordings and slide presentations from this three-day professional development workshop are available online. Hosted by Northeast SARE and Delaware State University in March 2016, this event addressed the latest research on the benefits and successful management of cover crops in grain, vegetable and animal production systems.
Cover Crop Innovators Video Series
Find short video profiles of farmers around the country who are using cover crops on their land.
Fitting Cover Crops in Vegetable Rotations
Ron Morse (Virginia Tech, emeritus) shares how to successfully fit cover crops into a vegetable rotation, including establishment methods, matching the right species to the right methods, recommended rotations and cash crop establishment.
Managing Cover Crops for Ecosystem Services in Vegetable Systems
Natalie Lounsbury (University of New Hampshire) discusses how to manage cover crops for such ecosystem services as: suppressing weeds, attracting pollinators, cycling nutrients, promoting biological diversity and controlling erosion.