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Modeling Crop Rotation with Discrete Mathematics

Author(s): Jennifer Lorraine Cartier1, Kellen Myers, Victoria Ferguson, Yekaterina Voskoboynik

Unity College

Summary:
The module develops discrete mathematics models that allow for creation of crop rotation schedules meeting a variety of needs.

Licensed under CC Attribution 4.0 International according to these terms

Version 1.0 - published on 25 Oct 2018 doi:10.25334/Q4DT6M - cite this

Contents:

Description

Module Summary: The production of crops is essential to human life. Producing these crops, however, comes with it a cost to the environment. The commonly used agricultural techniques in place in the United States rely on machinery and chemicals in order to keep up with the demand. However, over time, these methods strip the soil of nutrients which in turn require added inputs to produce the crops in the first place. In order to continue to produce crops at current levels of need and, by extension, to increase production, methods to counter these deficiencies must be utilized. One of these methods, used in both organic and 4conventional" agriculture, is that of crop rotation. Crop rotation may be as simple as the current corn/bean rotation in the conventional system, or more elegantly implemented with organic techniques such as intercropping, 4green manure,! and 4catch cropping.! Certain crops have characteristics which lend themselves to rotation. These crops are then rotated with crops which provide income or fodder for animals. However, the creation of a rotational schedule over a plot of subdivided land is a challenge which faces the agriculturist in planning the most efficient use of land so that demand is met, soils are sustained, and economic impact is reduced when leaving land off of a 4production schedule.! The module develops discrete mathematics models that allow for creation of schedules meeting a variety of needs.

This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants NSF DRL-1020166 and DMS-1053887. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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