Mixed farming is the growing of crops and rearing animals on the same farm. For example if you grow maize and beans and at the same time you rear cattle and sheep that kind of farming is referred to as mixed farming.
The following are Characteristics of mixed farming
- Crops are grown and animals reared on the same farm.
- A portion of land is reserved for animal pasture. To enable animal feeding portion of the farm is set aside for feeding animals or for growing animal feed in case a farm decide to rear his animals in special designed buildings.
- Farms are moderate in size.
- Crop residue is used for fodder. After harvesting the farmer uses the crop residue which saves some income for buying animal food and enable him to get quality annual products such as meat and milk
- Manure from animals is used to fertilize the soil. Animal rearing enable the farmer to get manure which he can apply on the farm to increase soil fertility which in turn will enable the farmer to increase his harvest and increase his income
Advantages of mixed farming
- When a crop fails or prices fluctuate the farmer can depend on livestock and vice versa.
- The farmer gets income continually. Since animal rearing is conducted through out the year the farmer income remain stable unlike when the farmer engages on crop production alone where his income increase immediately after selling his produce and drops after harvesting period is over.
- Income is larger. Combinations of income from selling crop harvest and animal products in larger as compared to crop farming alone or animal rearing alone
- The farmer is busy throughout the year. After harvesting the farmer concentrate on rearing animals this ensure reliable income to the farmer
- Using crop residue as fodder saves money for buying it. Without crop residue the farmer may be required to buy fodder from external suppliers which may cost a lot of money therefore by using crop residue the farmer saves money which in turn may be used to improve other aspects of his life
- Using manure from animals ensures sustained crop production and also saves money that would be used to buy manure. Animal manure which is considered as one of the most sustainable source of nutrients to plants help the farmer increase his yields and saves farmers money to buy fertilizers and saved money can be used to improve other aspects of farmer’s life.