Thursday, September 27, 2012

Types of Crops

September 14-17, 2012.
During the week that we covered the different type of crops, I learned that I was doing a mixed intercropping in the garden that we had assigned. Mixed intercropping is basically growing two or more crops together with no distinct row pattern.  Also, we covered row intercropping which is growing two or more crops at the same time with at least one crop planted in rows. However, what really triggered my curiosity from the material that we covered that week was crop rotation. Crop rotation is a planned order of specific crops planted on the same field. Crop rotation also means that succeeding crops are of a different genus, species, subspecies, or variety than the previous crop. Examples would be barley after wheat, row crops after small grains, grain crops after legumes, etc. The planned rotation sequence may be for a two or three-year or longer period. Some of the general purposes of rotations are to improve or maintain soil fertility, reduce erosion, reduce the build-up of pests, spread the workload, reduce risk of weather damage, reduce reliance on agricultural chemicals, and increase net profits. Therefore, instead of doing mixed intercropping, I realized that I would have liked to do some crop rotation because the first day I dug the soil, fire ants attacked my hand mercilessly. Basically, I would have liked to see how well crop rotation could work as a pest control against fire ants or any other pest present in the garden. Unfortunately, the class doesn’t offer that much time for me to do crop rotation, but it is still the most interesting type of crop that I learned that week.

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