Fallow fields are fields in which nothing is planted. Fallow is usually alternated with blocks of cereal crops like wheat and barley. Although not planted, fallow fields are carefully managed by farmers.


Fallow is a method used in dryland areas to give the soil a chance to recover after a season of a cereal crop.

Central Montana Fallow

Growing Season

Fields are generally left fallow for a year, from harvest in the fall to seeding the next fall. During that time, the fields are usually plowed several times to prevent weeds from growing.


As a general rule of thumb, about half of all dryland cereal crop land is in fallow each year. However, some farmers have started planting pulse crops like legumes as an alternative to summer fallow.