Mixed farming is a type of farming which involves both the growing of crops and the raising of livestock. Such agriculture occurs across Asia and in countries such as India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Afghanistan, South Africa, China, Central Europe, Canada, and Russia.The main characteristics of the mixed farming are that farms produce both crops and livestock and the two enterprises are interwoven and integrated. The grass is an important crop of mixed farming system, occupying at least 20 per cent of the cultivated land. The cultivation of crops alongside the rearing of animals for meat or milk defines mixed farming. For example, a mixed farm may grow cereal crops such as wheat or rye and also keep cattle, sheep, pigs or poultry. Often the dung from the cattle serves to fertilize the cereal crops.
Importance Of Mixed Farming
Mixed farming has therefore become the basis for modern agriculture. Mixed farming systems provide farmers with an opportunity to diversify risk from single crop production, to use labour more efficiently, to have a source of cash for purchasing farm inputs and to add value to crops or crop by-products. This is beneficial to farmers as the space is saved and cultivating multiple crops in a single field might ripen at different seasons and provides a wealth of environmental benefits.
The combination of livestock and crops, which was very common in the past, is assumed to be a viable alternative to specialised livestock or cropping systems. Mixed crop-livestock systems can improve nutrient cycling while reducing chemical inputs and generate economies of scope at farm level.