Crop rotations have a positive effect on soil functioning, compared to monocultures, which is mainly related to suppressing soil-borne diseases and weed infestations. They may have a positive effect on soil water and nutrient delivery, because healthy crop rotations often explore a greater volume of soil. Crop rotations also tend to have a positive effect on soil structure and soil tilth, because of the diversity of rooting patterns and soil organic matter sources. Root crops in crop rotations often have a negative effect on soil structure due to the disturbance of soil structure during harvesting and the low amounts of residual biomass left in the soil. This effect may be mitigated/restored again by a subsequent cereal crop or oilseed crops.  SoilCare will be trialling a number of different crop rotations to investigate their soil-improving qualities.

Cover Crops

Green Manures