Diverse crop rotations provide more biodiversity, benefiting the soil food web. Cover crops in cornThis, in turn, improves rainfall infiltration and nutrient cycling, while reducing disease and pests. Crop rotations can also be designed to include crops that are high water users; low water users; tap root; fibrous root; high-carbon crops; low-carbon crops; legumes; and non-legumes, to name a few.

The following lists the four crop types with a few common crop examples of each:

  • Warm season grass: Corn, sudan and millet
  • Warm season broadleaf: Sunflower and soybean
  • Cool season grass: Wheat, oat, barley and rye
  • Cool season broadleaf: Flax, pea and lentil

Diverse crop rotations include all four crop types and mimic our original plant diversity landscapes. They are important to the long-term sustainability of our soil resource and food security.