Start with the right tools: production guides, paper, pen, and a farm map!
One of the biggest challenges involves crop planning: deciding which crops to grow, where to put them, and how to gain from the benefits of a proper crop rotation over years of production. A new video available from Penn State Extension can help you plan a good vegetable crop rotation from the start.
Maybe you are new to growing vegetable crops, or maybe you have purchased or leased a new farm to expand your current production. In any case, a critical question you are facing is--where do I put my crops?
Crop rotation is one of the most fundamental best management practices we know of in crop farming. Planting the same vegetable crops in the same place year after year reduces soil quality and builds pest populations. Having a good crop rotation is key to farm sustainability. But a good crop rotation doesn't happen on its own, and it certainly doesn't happen on the fly during the busy planting season. A good crop rotation starts with a solid plan.
Penn State Extension's new video, "Where Do I Put My Crops" outlines the basic steps you can take to plan a vegetable crop rotation that fits your own farm. Learn how you can setting goals, create a farm map, generate crop lists, plan rotational groups, and link rotational maps to other recordkeeping tools through this short video.
This video is based on a previous article: DuPont, T., Start Farming: Planning a Crop Rotation. Penn State Extension, 2012.