TYPES OF CROPPING SYSTEMSIdentify and explain the different cropping systems.
2. Give the advantages and disadvantages of each cropping system
The way a farmland is cropped varies from one farmer to the other system adopted may depend on the available farmland, the of agriculture (whether subsistence or commercial), the need of the farmer and so on.
Advantages of monocropping system of farming
1. It makes possible the use of machines in farm operation. 2. It leads higher productivity per hectare, 3. It also leads to specialization among farmers
Disadvantages of monocropping system of farming
2. The system encourages the rapid spread of pests and diseases on the farm.
3. Labour may not be efficiently utilized throughout the year.
4. It does not afford the farmer a variety of crops.
2. Mixed cropping system of farming
(b) Inter-cropping system of farming
Advantages of inter cropping 1. It affords the farmer a variety of crops.
2. It serves as insurance against the failure of one type of crops.
3. It minimizes the spread of diseases and pests on the farm.
4. It enables the crops to make efficient use of soil nutrients. 5. The ensures efficient utilization of labour throughout the year.
Disadvantages of intercropping
3. It is labour intensive.
4. Pests and disease agents may persist on the farmland. This is because there are always food and alternative hosts for them.
3. Continuous cropping system of farming
This is the practice of putting a farmland under cultivation continuously, that is. from year to year. It may take any of forms:
(a) Annual cropping system of farming
(b) Permanent cropping: This involves planting and maintaining the crops, usually permanent crops continuously on the farm land, it is called plantations.
Advantages of permanent cropping
Disadvantages of permanent cropping system of farming
For crop rotation to be successful, certain principles must be followed
Principles of Crop Rotation
(a) The same type of crop should not be allowed to follow each other on the same plot. For example, maize should not follow maize.
(b) Crops that belong to the same group should not also follow each other on the same plot, e.g. cassava should not follow yam, or to follow maize.
(c) Crops that have deep roots like yam and cassava, should be followed with those that have shallow roots suclh as maize and groundnut.
(d) Crops that consume a lot of nitrogen such as the-cereal group should be followed by those that add nitrogen to the soil such as maize and the legume group,
(e) Crops likely to be affected by the same disease and/or pest should not follow each other on the same plot. The number of crops involved in the rotation will determine the. type of rotation. Therefore, there could be a two-year, three-year, or tour-year crop rotation. How to Design a Four-Year Crop Rotation
(a) Divide the farmland into four plots. (b) Choose the crops to cultivate. (c) Plant one crop on each plot, making sure the principles guiding the adoption of the system are adhered to. (
4) At the end of one season, shift the crop from plot B to A, C to B, D to C and A to D as shown in Figure 3.2.1.
(5) Follow this sequence until the fourth year is reached. Year Plot A Plot B Plot C Plot D 1 Maize Cassava Groundnut Yam and Melon 2 Cassava Groundnut Yam and Melon Maize 3 Groundnut Yam and Melon Maize Cassava 4 Yam and Melon Maize Cassava Groundnut
A Four-Year Crop Rotation,
It helps to maintain soil fertility.
2. It makes efficient use of soil nutrients.
3. The farmer has access to a variety of crops.
4. It minimizes the spread of diseases and pests and helps to check weeds
5. It reduces soil erosion.
6. It leads to efficient utilization of labour.
7. It is a good practice where land is scarce.
1. It is labour intensive.
2. Crop yields may decrease with years except additional manures or fertilizers are applied. 3. It leads to destruction of soil structure which may facilitate soil erosion.
STUDY QUESTIONS 1. List the three cropping systems and give one advantage and one disadvantages of each. 2. Explain crop rotation and outline its principles. Show how you would design a Four-Year crop rotation. 3. Which cropping system would you recommend for your school farm? Explain this system and give three advantages of it. 4. Write short notes on the following: (i) Inter-planting (ii) Inter-cropping 5. State three advantages of mixed cropping and two advantages also.
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