In an earlier paper, we argued that medic pasture was probably an important component of the ancient farming regime in Libya. The success of modern experiments which have reintroduced medicago pasture was also described.
In this paper, the analysis is taken further and the results of different types of crop rotation are compared. The Waite experiment in Australia has shown that the most intensive systems of cereal cultivation are not necessarily the most productive, when soil exhaustion and long term decline in yields are taken into account. In fact, the highest profits and best returns of both cereals and livestock are obtained from low intensity systems.
It is possible that increased emphasis on cereal production in the Roman period may have led to a diminuation of the medic pasture, to the exhaustion of the soils and falling yields. By its own initial success, Romano-Libyan agriculture may have contributed to its own decline.