Crop Rotation

Tobacco production is most successful when grown in combination with other crops. Pests, especially diseases, are easily managed when a good cropping sequence is followed. Soil structure is improved with rotation, thus allowing better root development, greater water infiltration, and reduced soil erosion. Tobacco will respond to all aspects of the rotational crop, and in some cases, this may create additional management needs, such as excess nitrogen or nematodes from a legume crop in the rotation. Grain crops, like small grain or corn, are good rotational crops for tobacco. County Agents estimate that practically all tobacco received rotation in 2009 (40% follow soybeans while 40% follow corn and 15% follow cotton).

Crop rotation also is the backbone of a good disease management program. For more information, see the 2010 Growers' Guide.