NRCS Practice Standard: Conservation Crop Rotation (328)
About the Company:
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s primary private lands conservation agency. The NRCS helps producers protect and conserve natural resources on private lands through voluntary conservation programs. Through Practice Standards and technical guides, the NRCS provides information about the conservation, energy resources, and provides personalized advice to individual producers.
The NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides technical and financial assistance to producers as they implement NRCS Conservation Practice Standards.
Technical guides used in each field office are localized so that they apply specifically to the geographic area for which they are prepared. Thus, while national guidelines have been provided as a framework for each standard, each state has adopted and modified the conservation practice standards to suit their individual landscape.
To find a local NRCS Service center click here.
To find the specific guideline for each state click here.
About the Solution:
Conservation Crop Rotation (328)
Conservation crop rotation is growing a planned sequence of various crops on the same piece of land for a variety of conservation purposes.
Crops included in conservation crop rotation include high-residue producing crops, such as corn or wheat, in rotation with low-residue producing crops, such as vegetables or soybeans. The rotation may also involve growing forage crops in rotation with other field crops.
Crop rotations vary with soil type, crops produced, farming operations, and how the crop residue is managed. The most effective crops for soil improvement are fibrous-rooted high-residue producing crops such as grass and small grain.
Perennial plants used for forage are very effective in crop rotations due to increases in organic matter and reduced soil erosion. In addition, crop rotations help break insect, disease, and weed cycles. Rotations add diversity to farm operations and often reduce economic and environmental risks.
Common Associated Practices
NRCS Conservation Practice Standard (CPS) Conservation Crop Rotation (328) is commonly applied with other conservation practices such as:
To view the national NRCS standard for Conservation Crop Rotation please click here.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
NOTE: There are multiple technologies that are used as part of integrated manure management systems and yet are not manure management types on their own. The impact of these technologies on their own would be minimal or very difficult to quantify.
General Support & Other:
- Can be an integral part of many manure management systems
- Most projects have at least some equipment that supports operations of the main technology
- This technology is not evaluated on its own, the NEAT Matrix for this technology is neutral unless utilized with other technologies.
Newtrient is using the USDA-NRCS conservation practice standards as tools to assist dairy producers in understanding the standards and how they can be used to address resources concerns.
To establish a Practice Standard a system or practice must be thoroughly vetted, approved, and standardized by the USDA at the federal and state level. These conservation practices have been developed to address various environmental resource concerns. Newtrient has developed a 9-point scoring process for ranking additives, practices, services, and technologies for the dairy industry. Recognizing the rigorous approval procedure used during the development of the NRCS Practice Standards, many of them score very highly and are worthy of consideration on any dairy where they apply.
The information provided here is a summary of the selected conservation practices. For up to date and detailed information related to the full Practice Standards, please see the USDA NRCS website, linked above.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY