What to Plant After Corn?

Soybeans, sorghum, and small grains such as wheat are good crops to plant after corn. Corn is a heavy feeder crop that depletes a lot of nutrients from the soil, and planting a different crop afterward can help replenish the soil.

Soybeans add nitrogen to the soil, sorghum is a drought-tolerant crop, and small grains help control weeds and pests. It is important to rotate crops regularly to maintain soil health and prevent disease and pest problems. Crop rotation also helps to avoid the buildup of soil-borne pathogens and pests that can harm the corn crop. Before planting any crop, it is essential to test the soil to determine nutrient levels and any necessary amendments. Proper crop rotation and soil management practices can lead to healthy crops and more productive yields.

What to Plant After Corn?

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Understanding Corn As A Crop

Corn is a major crop in the agricultural industry, with a life cycle that involves four stages: seed germination, vegetative growth, reproductive growth and maturity. The crop requires many essential nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous to be able to grow successfully.

Since corn is heavy feeder, it depletes the soil of these nutrients. This is why adding in nitrogen-fixing crops like beans, legumes and clover is recommended to help restore the soil levels. The challenges associated with producing corn include high water use, soil erosion and damage to beneficial insect populations.

To combat these issues, crop rotation with other plants like soybeans or alfalfa can be beneficial. Understanding the life cycle and nutrient requirements of corn is crucial when deciding on what crops to plant after corn.

Benefits Of Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is a great technique used by farmers to improve their crop yield. One of the significant benefits of crop rotation is that it leads to increased soil fertility. Crop rotation is also essential for preventing soil-borne diseases and pests.

Farmers commonly rotate corn with soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa. Legumes, like soybeans, play an essential role in crop rotation as they help fix nitrogen back into the soil. This nitrogen fixation improves soil fertility and reduces the need for synthetic fertilizers.

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By rotating crops, farmers can improve the soil structure, boost the soil’s health, and increase their yield.

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Best Crops To Plant After Corn

Corn is an annual crop. Legumes can help reduce soil erosion and increase soil fertility. Soybeans are great crops to plant after corn as they fix nitrogen to enrich the soil. They require well-drained soil and warm temperatures. Other non-legume crops, like wheat, barley, and oats, can also be planted after corn.

But, their suitability depends on the soil type and moisture requirements. For instance, wheat prefers loose, well-drained soil with moderate rainfall. Oats and barley require well-drained soil, high in organic matter, and sufficient water. Planting these crops after corn can also control weeds and reduce pest infestations.

Choose the appropriate crop to maximize yield and maintain soil health.

Managing Soil Health For Optimal Results

Optimal crop yield and quality are heavily dependent on maintaining soil health. Proper soil testing to determine nutrient levels is crucial. Cover crops, green manure, and compost are effective methods in managing soil health. These practices increase the organic matter in soil while reducing erosion and soil compaction.

By selecting appropriate crops to follow corn such as legumes, it prevents soil exhaustion and supports continuous nutrient cycling. Overall, when managing soil health, it is important to identify and incorporate practices best suited for the specific soil type and crop.


Deciding what to plant after corn can significantly influence the yield and quality of your crops. Rotating crops is an essential practice because it benefits your soil health, prevents soil-borne diseases and pests, and increases the nutrient content of the soil.

Several options are available to farmers who want to plant crops after corn, including legumes, small grains, brassicas, and cover crops. You should choose crops that match your soil type, climate, and farming practices. Understanding your crop rotation options can be challenging, but the benefits are worth the effort.

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By following these best practices and investing in a diverse planting strategy, you can maximize your yields and help ensure a bountiful harvest for years to come. Happy farming!