Mixed farming is a farming method wherein the farmer makes use of the farmland for cultivation (growing of crops) and livestock (raising of animals). Mixed farming is a popular farming practice, especially in regions with limited rainfall and challenging farming conditions; and is a smart way to make farms more productive and sustainable as the combined complimentary practices make for an even greater output.
In this blog, we will be looking extensively into 3 key reasons why you should consider getting into mixed farming and another 3 reasons why it may be best for you to avoid it.
We will start with the merits:
1. More venture means more income and lesser risks
With mixed farming, you can earn money from both crops and animals as the sale of crop yields alongside animal products (like milk, eggs, or meat) guarantees you more income. Also, if something goes wrong, like bad weather damaging your crops, you still have animals to rely on. That way, you do not lose everything if one part fails.
2. Animal presence means, lesser expenditure on fertilizers/manure
Mixed farming helps keep your soil healthy. Animals provide natural fertilizer through their waste, which nourishes the soil and helps crops grow better.
3. Efficient Use of Resources
Mixed farming helps you make the most of what you have. For example, instead of throwing away leftover crops, you can feed them to your animals. It saves money and reduces waste.
Now to the disadvantages…
1. Mixed farming requires skilled labour
For mixed farming to be successful, farmers would require knowledge of both animal husbandry and crop management; thus, making it challenging for farmers who lack the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out both activities effectively.
2. High Capital Investment
In the initial stages, mixed farming would require high capital investment. These investments include the need to purchase livestock, seeds, equipment, and more. For local farmers lacking sufficient funds, this could be a serious constraint.
3. Increased risk of disease outbreaks and pest attacks
Mixed farming poses serious issues when it comes to disease outbreaks and pest attacks as diseases or pests can spread easily from animals to crops and vice versa. Farmers, therefore, need to monitor and manage their crops and livestock constantly, which is a time-consuming and costly process.
Despite its underlying challenges, mixed farming is a smart way to ensure a highly successful farming career. By growing crops and raising animals together, you can earn more money, improve your soil, and reduce risks; just make sure to carefully consider your options and carefully make plans before delving into it.
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