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Design a rotational programme that will maximize the potential of micro organisms


Date Posted: 3/20/2019 11:15:47 PM

Posted By: Frederick paul  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 132

Design a rotational programme that will maximize the potential of micro organisms

Rotation is a process by which different types of crops are systematically planted in a piece of land i.e.; one crop is planted in one season and the other one planted in the next season. To maximize the potential of microorganisms in the soil, fertility needs to be considered. Some of the ways to maintain soil fertility includes: rotation, cover cropping, mulching, application of manure and controlling soil erosion.Soil organisms are important in decomposition, carbon sesquerisation, nitrogen fixation and nutrient cycling.

A simple way of distinguishing organic matter accumulators is that they tend to have higher root biomass production. Fibrous rooted plants like grasses are used as green manure or as part of pasture lye to increase soil organic matter levels. Practices such as monoculture, crop residues breakdown from one year to another tends to increase nutrients in the soil. This means that nutrients from these residues are available as a single flush and soil organic matter levels are lower than in areas that are continuously cropped in rotation .The rotation effectively favors different microbes in the soil each year meaning more humus and a greater soil microbial diversity.

Deep rooting crops should follow shallow rooting crops, to keep the soil structure open and assisting drainage. Alternate between crops with high and low roots biomass, high root biomass provides soil organisms particularly earthworms with materials to live on. The grass/clover lye can be variable in this respect.

Deep rooting plants enable accessing of nutrients from further down in the soil profile. This assist with the overall efficiency of nutrient uptake from an area and shallow rooted plants can be alternated with deep rooting plants. The deep rooting plants also have the ability to bring nutrients up to increase nutrients availability in the

top soil due to leaky roots and the death of and nutrients cycling from roots and soots. Deep rooted plants will tend to reduce the amount of nutrients that otherwise might be lost through leaching egg: chicory which has the potential to rescue leached nitrogen and also by virtue of having freshly roots at deep profile take up phosphorus from those depths.
High root biomass plants are more beneficial for soil microbial activates and especially for earthworms. Plants like grasses, cereals and lupines should be included in a rotational plan to maximize benefits from good soils, biological activity and earthworms. Some deep rooting plants like chicory and dandelion improves the ability for burrowing earthworms to access greater depths and improving soil structure and drainage in the subsoil area.

After humans commenced cropping in fixed locations, it was soon seen that a soil sickness developed if the same crop was grown year after year. When several types of crops were alternated between seasons in the same area overall yield were improved and this has been described as a positive rotation effect. Soil sickness and rotational effects are interrelated the soils sickness being caused by lack of rotation and rotation effects representing the avoidance of soil sickness by using a different crop. In the university farm, rotation programmed by rotating different types of crops in a fixed area of land has maximized potential of microorganisms in the soil. A crop with a high phosphorus requirement may reduce available phosphorus levels and this could be followed with a crop for which yields are not phosphorus limited. This is possible because different crops require a different spectrum of nutrients.

In conclusion, rotations are one of the fundamentals keys to successful and sustainable agricultural cropping. Suitable crops and organisms in particular are usually based around sound rotation principles giving biodiversity. Over time and space reducing pests, weeds and diseases issues and improving soil fertility. Wherever possible catch crops, green manure and under sowing techniques should be used to keep the soil covered as much as possible protecting it from erosion risks and reducing nutrient leaching particularly in winter.

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