Mixed farming Is the practice of growing crops and rearing of animals on the same farm at the same time

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
Advantages of mixed farming
  • 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.
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.



mixed cropping

mixed cropping is the practice of growing of two or more crops simultaneously in the same piece of land

the basic objective in mixed cropping is to minimize the risk and insure against crop failure due to abnormal weather conditions.

the smaller and marginal farmers particularly, in the rain-fed regions can not take the risk of growing specialized crops.

they prefer the farming system called mixed cropping.

advantages of mixed cropping

  • the risk of total crop failure due to uncertain weather conditions is reduced
  • farmers tend to harvest a variety of products such as cereal, pulses, or vegetables to meet the various requirement of the family.
  • due to the complementary effect of component crops, yield of both crops is increased for example wheat and gram
  • fertility of the soil is improved by growing two crops simultaneously
  • chances of pest infestations are greatly reduced


intercropping is the practice of growing two or more crops simultaneously in the same field in a definite row pattern with the objective of increasing productivity per unit area

intercropping is an improved version of mixed cropping.

all the crop combinations in the mixed cropping can also be practiced in intercropping however the row pattern in the intercropping are definite that is 1:1, 1:2, or 1:3.

it means after one row of the main crop, one, two, or three rows of intercrop can be grown

advantages of intercropping

  • it makes better use of natural resources of sunlight, land and water
  • it mitigates the effect of soil erosion
  • since the seeds of two crops are not mixed before sowing, fertilizers can be added as per the need of the crop
  • since the seed maturity of these crops varies, the different crops can be harvested and shelved separately
  • the produce of each crop can be marketed and consumed separately



  • The offspring is similar to the parent in all ways
  • The offspring grows fast and matures earlier than seeds
  • The offspring is stronger and more hardened than seedling and so can withstand harsh weather conditions

  • In some places, it is the only possible way of propagating certain crops.
  • It eliminates seed bone diseases than those in seed propagation
  • It allows multiplication of plant population very fast
  • Land requires little preparation not like in seed preparation


A seed is a fertilized ovule. It consists of an embryo and stores food materials Surrounded by a seed cot while cereal crops consists of embryos, endosperms and pericarp. As legumes have no endosperm.


  • Seeds are cheap than vegetative organs
  • Seeds are easy to handle and transport
  • They can be stored for a long period of time
  • Seeds are easy to plant
  • The control of pests and diseases before storage is easy with seeds.

  • Some plants can not be easily propagated vegetatively.
  • It controls spread of plant diseases that would be spread through infected vegetative plant parts


A weed is a plant which grow in a place where it is not wanted
It is also unwanted plant in the garden or

It is a plant whose usefulness has not been discovered

Disadvantages of weeds

  • They are poisonous to animals and man e.g Sodom apple, tick berry
  • They lower the quality of farm produce e.g Black Jack seeds contaminate cotton Lint, Wild onions contaminate milk.
  • All terrestrial weeds compete with crops for Nutrients, water, light and space.
  • They grow among pastures hence reducing their palatability
  • Aquatic weeds block water ways and irrigation channels making irrigation difficult e.g – water hyacinth
  • The control of weeds through spraying using herbicides increases the costs of production
  • Weeds harbor pests and diseases of crops during the season
  • Weeds reduce the value of land e.g – Lantana
  • They are parasites to crops e.g – Striga hermontheca SPP in cotton
  • Under heavy infestation of crops by weeds, crops have a poor distribution and formation of roots.
  • Acquantic weeds reduce the amount of oxygen available for respiration of animals e.g fish, and other aquartic organism



Zero/Minimum Tillage Is when a seedbed is prepared with little disturbance to the soil+ surface.

It is recommended that only there to be planted should be disturbed.

Minimum tillage can be done successfully;
(a) By using herbicides to kill weeds
(b) By burning/controlled burning


  • Burning may kill living organisms
  • It may lead to compaction of soil since the most area is not disturbed

  • A lot of chemicals (herbicides) to may be used which are expensive
  • Heavy use of herbicides pollutes the environment


  • Crops utilize optimally the nutrients and moisture since crops grown have a different rooting system.
  • It breaks the life cycle of pests and diseases since the pathogens are starved when crops that they depend on are not grown that season.
  • Soil fertility is improved especially e.g legumes are included in the rotation.
  • Protects soil from erosion since land is even covered not bear especially during the fallow period.
  • It facilitates Nutrient recycling, especially when shallow and deep-rooted crops are alternated in the rotation
  • Farmer spends less on fertilizers since soil is improved by N from legumes
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