Mixed farming is a system of farming in agriculture, which involves the growing of crops and rearing of animals (livestock) on the same piece of land, on a particular season. This system of farming is practiced all around the world, it helps to ensure sustainable agriculture.
Farmers have developed innovative strategies to make their farms work. By maximizing their space, they’ve been able to raise both crops and livestock simultaneously. For example; a mixed farm may grow cereal like maize, wheat and also rear cattle, pig and poultry.
NOTE: Mixed farming is different from mixed cropping or multiple cropping as the latter only involves the growing of different crop varieties on a farm without the presence or usefulness of farm animals.
Read also: Continuous cropping system, a bad idea?
Advantages of mixed farming
- In mixed farming, all products are utilized.
- Money is saved as there is reduced cost of feeding farm animals and reduced or no cost of fertiliser application.
- If a crop does poorly in a season, the farmer can fall back on income from sales of meat, milk and eggs.
- There’s a crop-livestock mutual relationship, both plants and animals help each other grow.
- There is limited capacity in the sense that a farmer who grows maize and raises dairy cattle cannot grow as much maize as the farmer who grows only maize.
- More resources are required in caring for your crops and raising your animals.
- Farm animals may feed on crops before harvest stage, thus resulting in loss of yield and reduction in market value.
Read also: See why you should be a farmer
Mixed farming is like the most practised farming system across Africa and even the world as a whole, as this system of agriculture is very beneficial to both plants, animals and farmers.