Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-14-2016, 03:29 AM   #1
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

One thing I've felt was missing from LTC3 and the follow up Pyramid articles was that while they mentioned crop rotation, they only actually provide details on the most basic system and hints at the other ones, so I'm creating this thread to ask for examples.

People need not restrict themselves to examples from TL1-4, after all Yrth likely has advanced agricultural knowledge from else where in the IW, and DF is likely ancient, someone stumbling upon a better is not unbelievable.

Personally I', currently interested in vegetable oil in pattern with stables such as wheat, rice or corn.
scc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 07:45 AM   #2
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Lawrence, KS
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

I recommend reading up on the Norfolk four-course rotation, for one.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

I don't think we're in Oz any more.
whswhs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 08:42 AM   #3
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

Canola (rapeseed) is often grown in rotation with wheat, peas, or flax. A 3-year gap between canola crops is ideal; at least one is recommended. Yields are around 10-20% higher, with better pest and disease management.

Corn is grown in rotation with soybeans or alfalfa for hay in various patterns, sometimes just alternating with soybeans, or up to three years of alfalfa between corn crops, sometimes two years of corn and three of alfalfa. The decision on the exact pattern is usually driven by economics and the value of the non-corn crops. Again, it's about a 10-20% increase in yield over continuously planting corn. Decreased demand for nitrogen fertilizer is a motivation (which factors into that economic decision), as well as reducing diseases and pests.

Rice is usually alternated with soybeans, and sometimes wheat or barley. You might see corn as an oil crop. In Southeast Asia, sometimes you'll see palm oil.

Any crop rotation system is just one implementation of general principles. They don't have to be followed strictly and mechanically. It's not a specific pattern of exact plants that matters. Work backwards from the basic idea (get something nitrogen fixing in there, something that uses a different proportion of nutrients than your main crop, and break it up just so the diseases don't have a consistent environment to colonize) and you can invent all sorts of systems. Climate is also a big factor, as you can of course only rotate crops that will actually grow in your area.

Economics matter, too, which isn't a matter of evil farmers raping the land for extra profit, but of simple practicality in producing the desired product. There's no point in growing something worthless that costs you a whole year of income but that gives you a 3% increase in yield, compared to continuous planting at 80% yield. Two years gives you 160% compared to 103%. Similarly, rotating with something that gives you a 10% improvement, but that has its own value locally, is more appealing than losing that year for a 20% improvement. So all the crops in the rotation matter, not just one main one.

Last edited by Anaraxes; 09-14-2016 at 08:47 AM.
Anaraxes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 10:00 AM   #4
robertsconley
 
robertsconley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

I have a question that is somewhat unrelated to crop rotation but is related to medieval agriculture.

What are sheepfolds used for in animal husbandry? I know they are a pen for sheep. But you got your pasture and you got your sheepfold/pens out in the pasture land. What role they play in the whole scheme during medieval times before the 18th century enclosure.
robertsconley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 10:14 AM   #5
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

And in many respects, the strain you're using matters as much as the rotation.

Just as 16th century horses are a lot bigger than 6th century BC, so with grain. You get better yields.
__________________
Be helpful, not pedantic

Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog

Check out the PbP forum! If you don't see a game you'd like, ask me about making one!
ericthered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 03:07 PM   #6
(E)
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
I have a question that is somewhat unrelated to crop rotation but is related to medieval agriculture.

What are sheepfolds used for in animal husbandry? I know they are a pen for sheep. But you got your pasture and you got your sheepfold/pens out in the pasture land. What role they play in the whole scheme during medieval times before the 18th century enclosure.
Shearing, mothering on, marking, docking, monitoring sick animals, reducing food intake with prolapse cases (bearings), drafting/sorting, weaning, tarring, crutching, emptying out, training dogs and any situation where there will be lots of catching.

It is easier to move the labour to the sheep than vice versa. Also at some times of the year (lambing leaps to mind) you want to move the sheep as little as possible so having a pen close to where the sheep graze is useful. (Portable yards are the modern equivalent)
__________________
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
And spending too much time thinking about farming for RPGs
Contributor to Citadel at Nordvörn
(E) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 04:19 PM   #7
fredtheobviouspseudonym
 
Join Date: May 2007
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertsconley View Post
I have a question that is somewhat unrelated to crop rotation but is related to medieval agriculture.

What are sheepfolds used for in animal husbandry? I know they are a pen for sheep. But you got your pasture and you got your sheepfold/pens out in the pasture land. What role they play in the whole scheme during medieval times before the 18th century enclosure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Shearing, mothering on, marking, docking, monitoring sick animals, reducing food intake with prolapse cases (bearings), drafting/sorting, weaning, tarring, crutching, emptying out, training dogs and any situation where there will be lots of catching.
Temporary sheepfolds (hurdles) were set on farm fields to provide, um, natural fertilizer.

The decisions on where to set these hurdles and regarding how many sheep to pen therein could be the sources of legal actions.
fredtheobviouspseudonym is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-15-2016, 11:14 AM   #8
robertsconley
 
robertsconley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

Quote:
Originally Posted by (E) View Post
Shearing, mothering on, marking, docking, monitoring sick animals, reducing food intake with prolapse cases (bearings), drafting/sorting, weaning, tarring, crutching, emptying out, training dogs and any situation where there will be lots of catching.

It is easier to move the labour to the sheep than vice versa. Also at some times of the year (lambing leaps to mind) you want to move the sheep as little as possible so having a pen close to where the sheep graze is useful. (Portable yards are the modern equivalent)
(Thumbs up) thanks that gives me an excellent starting point. Basically I like to learn this stuff and then distill it to give a sense of life to the setting. This helps me add in color details when PCs run across pastures and herders.
robertsconley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 01:45 PM   #9
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Forest Grove, Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Canola (rapeseed) is often grown in rotation with wheat, peas, or flax. A 3-year gap between canola crops is ideal; at least one is recommended. Yields are around 10-20% higher, with better pest and disease management.
..
Isn't non-GMO rapeseed toxic? If so, then it wouldn't really fit Low Tech.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-14-2016, 02:22 PM   #10
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default Re: [Low Tech] Crop Rotation Patterns

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Isn't non-GMO rapeseed toxic? If so, then it wouldn't really fit Low Tech.
No, at least not in the way you're thinking of. There are at least two strains of Canola, one made via genetic engineering, the other via more traditional methods
scc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
farming, low tech companion, ltc3

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.