CROP HUSBANDRY 5.1 Describe the major cropping systems. Mixed cropping, mixed farming, crop rotation
CROPPING SYSTEMS Farming is any deliberate attempt to produce crops and livestock Need for an efficient system of farming: • Need for food to live ; land is limited, growing population • Increase incomes, increase production by farmers • With limited resources in some countries, farmers must increase productivity to pay for goods and services • Employment is generated • Efficient system of farming makes economic use of resources
Shifting cultivation • The land is cleared usually by burning and • planted using simple tools • Relies on natural fertility, no fertilizers.
Shifting cultivation • A piece of land is cultivated for 2 – 4 years
Shifting cultivation • When the soil nutrients are exhausted and crop yields are low the farmer and his family abandon the farm and farm buildings for ever and move to farm elsewhere.
Shifting cultivation – the problems • Loss of humus by burning, • depletion of soil nutrients by continual removal of crop products
Shifting cultivation – the problems • causes soil erosion, • flooding, • lost of valuable forest trees and wildlife
Subsistence farming Earnings are supplemented from other jobs. It assists with family food requirements.
Continuous cropping • This farming system involves putting a piece of land under permanent cultivation. • The crops planted may either be annual or perennial.
Continuous cropping Advantages: • Maximum utilization of land, • reduced cost of labour on land preparation, • if water and nutrients are adequate it can lead to increased production and more than one harvest per year. • Desirable in densely populated areas where land is scarce and there is high demand for the crops being produced.
Continuous cropping Disadvantages: • can lead to soil exhaustion, erosion and low productivity if soil and nutrients conservation practices are not adopted. • Must have good land management practices to be successful
Monocropping (sole cropping) • This is the practice of growing exclusively one type of crop and harvesting it before planting another on the same piece of land. • This system leads to specialization and greater efficiency in production of the crop and its products.
Monocropping (sole cropping) Mechanization is possible because only one set of machinery is required.
Monocropping (sole cropping) Control of pests and diseases of the crop can be easy.
Monocropping (sole cropping) This system can be adopted • where there is high demand for the crop; • if there is managerial skill for growing the crop; • if there is government incentive through subsidies for farm inputs; • and where the environmental factors are conducive. • The farmer could however be exposed to the danger of a poor harvest as a result of adverse climatic conditions or invasion of pests and diseases. • The market price may also fall causing serious loss to profit margins.
Monoculture • This means the growing of the same crop on the same piece of land from year to year. • This may apply both to annual crops such as yam, cassava, rice, corn, and perennial crops such as cocoa, coffee, coconuts, citrus.
Monoculture • After some years the crops will diminish in yield because the same nutrients will be continually removed from the same or nearly the same depth of soil by the plants.
Monoculture - Advantages • encourages specialization in certain crops that could lead to better production both in quantity and quality. • The farmer can purchase specialized tools and equipment. • It is advantageous when a specific crop commands a high price; • when the soil is suitable for one crop such as swamp rice; • when manure is readily available to replace steady losses through plant uptake.
Monoculture - Disadvantages • This will lead to soil exhaustion; • the destruction of soil structure, • and possibly soil erosion. • It is also a system that exposes the farmer to great risk in the case of adverse climatic conditions or an invasion of pests and diseases.
Mixed Cropping • Mixed cropping is the cultivation of more than one type on a piece of land at the same time. • E.g. corn and yam
Mixed Cropping • Makes efficient use of soil resources
Mixed Cropping • mechanization may not be possible
Mixed Cropping • the increased biodiversity decreases weeds, pests and diseases. • Less pesticides used
Mixed Farming Cows and sheep grazing together
Mixed Farming • This system involves the rearing of livestock and planting of crops Sheep and orchard (fruit trees)
Mixed Farming • Land is used more efficiently and reduces the risk of failure Cattle grazing under coconut trees
Mixed Farming • Excess from the garden is fed to the animals • Excreta and litter (manure from the pens is used in the garden Waste from chicken used to fertilise algae growth in the pond
Mixed Farming - Disadvantages • A higher level of management is required • A labour force needs to be trained • There is need to find markets for different produce • Animals can damage crops if they are not properly enclosed or tethered
The Plantation System • Involves a large acreage cultivated with one main crop. E.g. sugar cane • Several employees, many technically trained
The Plantation System • Highly mechanized • May have own research station and security force Rice – main crop
Crop Rotation • This is a system whereby the ground is kept under cultivation in such a way that the crops follow in a definite order or cycle.
Crop Rotation • Some crops use a fair quantity of nutrients, e.g. yams, maize, cassava; while some use less. E.g. tomatoes, pumpkin. • Crops add nutrients, e.g. legumes, grasses
Crop Rotation • Crops have different root lengths – shallow rooted and deep-rooted.
Benefits of Crop Rotation • Improves fertility • Controls pests and diseases • Controls weeds • Labour is occupied throughout the year • Income is maintained throughout the year
Intercropping • The planting of quick-growing and quick-maturing crops between slow-growing and slow-maturing crops. E.g. melon and yam. Sorghum and cowpea
Intercropping Nine different crops growing here
Interplanting • the growing of a main crop in between planting of another main crop on the same piece of land. • The crop planted later remains on the plot after the first crop has been harvested. E.g. corn and cassava.
HOME WORKRead pages 166- 168 THE END