rotation of crops, agricultural practice of varying the crops on a piece of land in a planned series, to save or increase the mineral or organic content of the soil, to increase crop yields, and to eradicate weeds, insects, and plant diseases. In a rotation, it is often desirable to alternate a cultivated crop (e.g., corn) with a legume (e.g., clover), which adds nitrogen to the soil.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.