A row crop is a crop that can be planted in rows wide enough to allow it to be tilled or otherwise cultivated by agricultural machinery, machinery tailored for the seasonal activities of row crops. Such crops are sown by drilling rather than broadcasting.
The distinction is significant in crop rotation strategies, where land is planted with row crops, commodity food grains, and sod-forming crops in a sequence meant to protect the quality of the soil while maximizing the soil's annual productivity.
Row crops are generally grown on irrigated land, and some, such as cotton, can be grown only under irrigation. During the growing season, the interrow spaces are hoed two to four times and the rows are weeded to conserve moisture and improve aeration. As a result, the soil’s microbiological activity increases and mobilization of nutrients is intensified. Row crops are valuable precursors of spring grain crops, flax, and hemp. The beneficial effect of row crops extends to the second crop.
- "Crop rotation". Eaton Corporation. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
- Gupta, Shweta. "Eaton's Markets > Agriculture and Forestry > Row Crop Farming". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2014-02-02.
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