Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Zurich-Reckenholz

A diverse crop rotation improves yields and economical parameters

In the trial «Chaiblen» at Tänikon (Switzerland), the effect on yields and economical parameters of a diverse, a cereal-dominated and a maize-dominated crop rotation was examined during 27 years. The evaluation of the years of comparison with silage maize and winter wheat in the three crop rotations showed, that a diverse crop rotation with two years of clover grass had a better yield potential and an easier control for weeds and diseases than the rotations mainly based on cereals or maize. On average, maize yielded 19 % less in the maize-dominated rotation and wheat 10 % less in the cereal-dominated rotation than in the diverse crop rotation. Furthermore, earthworm populations showed a clear increase during the two years of meadows in the diverse crop rotation. This was in contrast to the other crop rotations with almost unchanged numbers of earthworms.

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