“Micro Farms” are small – scale agricultural operations that use far less land than the average commercial or family farm. Size limits and zoning restrictions force micro farmers to be creative about the crops they grow. They tend to focus on sustainability, seasonal crops and niche markets for their products.
A micro-farm refers to an agricultural infrastructure that typically works on five acres of land or less. They thrive in urban areas, and their focus is on sustainability and a commitment to being Eco-friendly. Common crops for micro farms include garlic, mushrooms, herbs and micro-greens. It is common for micro farms to connect with a small, specialized niche in which to market their goods.
Benefits of Micro Farming:
Interaction with nature – Managing a micro-farm gives you an opportunity to get outside daily, to spend some time with Mother Nature. There is nothing more natural than using the soil, sun, and a little water to grow food organically.
Reduced Labor – Micro farms requires a smaller investment in labor. You don’t need to invest in heavy machinery or workers to help maintain the crops.
High Quality Food – Another benefit of a micro farm is knowing that your food is free of toxins and pesticides. Growing your own food is one of the best ways to ensure that everything you eat is free of harmful chemicals.
Good for your Mind and Body – It is proved that getting out in nature and growing things or interacting with animals is beneficial for your mind and body. Managing a micro – farm has been proven to provide mental clarity and stress relief.
The smaller you go, the more profitable you are per square foot. This is because you can micro manage the farm and pay attention to the details. For example,m on a small farm, you can inter-plant short and long – term crops. It is also important on a small piece of land, you need to be highly selective about your crops.
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Precision Farming seeks to use new technologies to increase crop yields and profitability while lowering the levels of traditional inputs. These inputs are needed to grow crops – land, water, fertilizer, herbicides and insecticides. In other words, farmers utilizing precision agriculture are using less to grow more. Precision agriculture is the latest trend in agricultural sectors around the world, because it saves time and reduces cost.
DO YOU NEED TO SWITCH TO PRECISION FARMING???
Yes. It is already profitable and will be inevitable in the future.American farmers already save between $11 000 and $39 000 a year on average. The sooner farmers begin to implement precision farming, the more competitive they will be in the future.
Precision Farming Benefits:
- Simplified Farming Processes.
- More cost – efficient farming.
- More time on hands.
- Higher yields and more profitable.
- Better quality produce.
- Less waste.
- Higher quality of life.
Many farmers are adopting new equipment to make their farming more precise. Tractors can map fields, drives themselves, and check it’s own motion so it doesn’t waste fertilizer, seed or fuel. Farnming technology includes remote sensing with data collection on variables like nutrient levels and soil moisture.
Precision farming is about managing variations in the field accurately to grow more food using fewer resources and reducing production costs. The main goal of “precision farming” is to improve agricultural yield and reduce potential environmental risks.
Future of Precision Farming
Some of the most recently technologies available and under development are the state – of – the – art robots. They are capable of managing crops more and more accurately with the possibility of collecting important data.
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“Regenerative Farming” is the latest buzz in responsible agricultural management. It is similar to conservation farming. It combines the use of stubble retention, crop rotation and the minimum disturbance of the soil to promote soil health.
Although having the same aims, regenerative farming moves beyond the simple definition of “organic” and “biological” production. It aims to adapt farming practices to what is happening in and around the plant. It also essentially mimic rather than work against nature.
The key to regenerative agriculture is that it not only “does no harm” to the land but actually improves it. It is done by using technologies that regenerate and revitalize the soil and the environment. Regenerative agriculture leads to healthy soil, capable of producing high quality, nutrient dense food. It simultaneously improve, rather than degrade the land, and ultimately leading to productive farms and healthy communities and economies.
A breakdown of what’s typically involved with regenerating farming include but not limited to:
- Crop rotation, or successively farming more than one plant on the same land.
- Cover cropping, or planting year-round so the land isn’t fallow during off-seasons, which helps prevent soil erosion.
- Conservative tillage, or less plowing of fields.
- Cattle grazing, which naturally stimulates plant growth.
- Curtailing the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Animal welfare and fair working practices for farmers.
Regenerative farming practices, such as cover cropping and livestock grazing, aim always to keep a living root in the soil. These practices cycle nutrients without aggressively disturbing the soil to keep carbon stored underground where it belongs. Meanwhile, , composting boosts populations of beneficial soil microbes that feed plants and help them manage pests. This reduces the need for fertilizers, which, when used excessively, can release nitrogen into the air. It also decreases dependence on herbicides and pesticides, which kill healthy bacteria and fungi in the soil.
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Free Range Chicken Farming is a method of chicken farming where the chickens are allowed to roam freely outdoors. This is done for a good part of the day rather than being confined in an enclosure for 24 hours.
In most free range chicken farms, the outdoor ranging area is fenced and therefore making the area an enclosure. Chicken meat is generally consumed in all parts of the world and is very healthy. There are many free range farms that raise chickens and making huge profits from their farming operation.
When you running your own free range chicken farming operation, it is better to produce your own chicken feed. One of the most economical ways of feeding is to grow your own meal-worms as feeding for them. Meal – worms is the most ideal meal to feed free range chickens. It is also less stressful and inexpensive when you do it yourself.
Free range chicken farmers work with various breeds like:
Meat Production – Cobb, Ross, Arbor Acres, Hubbard.
Egg Production – Lohmann, Browns, Lohman Silver, Hy-Line Silver, Hy-Line Brown, Amber – Link and Lohmann Hybrids.
Other poultry hybrids include the following chicken breeds:
- Potch Koekoek.
- Black Australorps.
With the market for “free range eggs” continuing to grow, more new players are getting into the sector.They raise chickens in a semi – intensive , free range or fully organic system. Many of the new entrants are tempted by the relatively low start up costs. Also, the potentially good margins as free range and organic products tend to fetch a higher price.
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Spinach is not only full of flavour, but full of goodness too. Spinach is high in iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin c and low in categories. What most of us eat as spinach is usually “Swiss Chard” because it is:
- Much more available.
- Easier to grow.
- Heat tolerant and
- More productive.
Spinach and Swiss Chard are among the easiest vegetables to grow. They germinate easily, don’t take up much space and are easy to harvest. However, they are gross feeders and need regular feeding to be a great success.
Spinach seeds germinate at 2°C to 30°C. However, 7°C to 24°C is optimum. Seeds will not germinate well in warm weather. Although spinach will grow in temperatures ranging from 5° to 24°C, growth is more rapid at 15° to 18°C.
The plant requires a constant and uniform supply of water in order to obtain a good crop of high quality. During spinach production, the soil should never be allowed to dry out. Spinach requires plenty of water, although the soil should have good drainage.
Spinach grows well on a variety of soils, although fertile, sandy loams with a high organic matter content is preferred. Spinach is particularly sensitive to saturated soil conditions and to acidity. The optimum soil pH is 6.2 to 6.9.
Before planting, prepare and enrich the soil with generous amounts of organics as well as bone meal for root development.
- Spinach and Swiss Chard can be sown in situ. Swiss Chard can also be sown in seed trays as it transplants better than spinach.
- Keep the soil moist during germination – which takes about 5 days.
- Seedlings should be spaced, or thinned out, to about 20cm apart.
- Feed with a liquid fertilizer about 2 weeks after germination and at least once a month after that..
Plants should be spaced 10 – 20 cm apart in rows that are 30cm apart. This equates to about 160 000+ plants per hectare. Commercial growers that harvest mechanically plant closer together at 15cm by 25cm giving the grower 250 000+ plants per hectare.
Harvesting of the first outer leaves can begin at 60 to 70 days from planting. To ensure longer production periods and higher yields spinach needs Nitrogen in the soil throughout its growing period.
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