With mixed farming it involves at least two methods of farming combined to make one. An example of this includes combining crops and livestock. With this mixed farming method the crop benefits from the manure of the livestock and the livestock benefits from the crops as a food source. This in turn creates a balance and makes the farm very sustainable.
Pros of Mixed Farming
• The farmer is able to receive an increased amount of revenue by having more than one method. This will also eliminate any financial concerns if any part fails.
• The farmland becomes richer and crop growth becomes enhanced.
• The farmland is able to be worked continuously with no worry.
• The farming methods go great together as one system.
• Profitability is increased.
• The farm itself is able to expand.
• Implementing mixed farming refines the overall health of the soil and thus creating a higher amount of crops.
• Fodder is grown within the farm to feed the existing animals.
• The use of commercial fertilizers is eliminated.
• Farmers make an earning all season long through mixed farming by selling services when plant growth has finished by helping others with their own farming.
• A balance in the environment is achieved.
• While using the mixed farming method, any type of failure with the crops can be lessened because of the livestock making profits as well.
Mixed Farming’s Principal Advantage
When it comes to the advantage of mixed farming, the principal advantage that always comes to mind is the rotation of crops within the farm land.
Rotating your crops also inhibits disease from spreading among crop and breaks any potential cycles of crop pests.
Not only that, but other advantages involve allowing livestock to provide a natural fertilizer from their excrement. With the amount of manure being plentiful, it becomes a great asset for a farm to have around.
As the manure is collected it can be worked into the soil to add an increased potassium level that will allow crops to become healthy.
As manure gets used continuously it will eventually eliminate the need for artificial fertilizers which have an unknown amount of hazardous chemicals.
The Cons of Mixed Farming
Although there are plenty of pros to mention about mixed farming, there are still a few disadvantages to it too such as the following:
• Supervising of everything going on can be difficult unlike a regular farm that involves only the purpose of preparation or tending to livestock.
• Operating a mixed farm requires a significant amount of education and know how involved with mixed farming so that it is able to thrive. Having the education is also able to back up the reasons for why things are done a certain way. If there was no education involved then there is a risk of obtaining subpar results.
• Needing additional material is also a disadvantage often seen during mixed farming. Extra materials often needed include items used specifically for mixed farming.
• Mixed farming is not as popular as many think it is and farmers actually try to avoid using it even though the practice has been utilized successfully by many.
Mixed Cropping Strengths and Weaknesses
When it comes to mixed cropping it implements a straightforward idea. When utilized, it brings together two different crops in a single area. Both crops are manipulated in such a way that allows them to grow together as one. When this is accomplished there are many advantages environmentally speaking and requires very little space due to different timings of crop growth. So as a crop is ready for harvest and the other is not, then a farmer can easily reduce the area size that would normally be used to plant both crops. Another advantage involves an increase in the amount of nutrients found within the soil and the ability to inhibit the growth and spread of unwanted diseases, weeds, and invasive bugs. Plus, an increased amount of efficiency is also achieved.
As far as a disadvantage is concerned, it just boils down to the volume. This means you are only able to grow a certain amount because of a limited amount of space. So if you have a lot to grow, then you will be able to accommodate half of it since it will be sharing one single field. But, if the space allows, then a grower may not have a problem with that.