Long-term evidence shows that crop-rotation diversification increases agricultural resilience to adverse growing conditions in North America

Bowles, T.M.
Mooshammer, M.
Socolar, Y.
Calderon, F.
Cavigelli, M.A.
Culman, S.W.
Deen, W.
Drury, C.F.
Garcia, A.G.
Gaudin, A.C.M.
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Diversifying cropping systems improves environmental health and has the potential to reduce risk from climate-change-related threats, but empirical evidence remains sparse. In this study, we found that maize yields were higher during adverse weather, including droughts, when maize was grown as part of a more diverse rotation. Rotation diversification also increased maize yields over time and under better growing conditions. Policies that support more diversified cropping systems could help reduce risk from increasingly stressful weather.

cropping system, diversification, maize, yield, climate, rotation
Bowles, T., Mooshammer, M., Socolar, Y., Calderón, F., Cavigelli, M., Culman, S., Deen, W., Drury, C., Garcia y Garcia, A., Gaudin, A., Harkcom, W., Lehman, R., Osborne, S., Robertson, G., Salerno, J., Schmer, M., Strock, J., & Grandy, A. (2020). Long-Term Evidence Shows that Crop-Rotation Diversification Increases Agricultural Resilience to Adverse Growing Conditions in North America. One Earth, 2(3), 284–293. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2020.02.007