The Complete Illustrated Guide to Farming
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Crop Rotation Crop rotation, like green manures, dates back to the dawn of agriculture.
It fell into disuse with the advent of modern chemical fertilizers and monocropping, but this was to the peril of soil health, so rotational cropping is considered a vital spoke in the wheel of organic farming today. In its simplest form, crop rotation is the act of planting something different in a field every year. A rotational sequence is usually for a series of years, coming back to the original crop after four or more years. This cycle disrupts weed and pest activity, helps eliminate soil-borne diseases, and aids soil fertility by growing crops with different nutrient needs in a field (thereby not using up one nutrient such as nitrogen by repeatedly planting corn in the same plot). Some crops do well if rotated after other crops, and when green manures and cover crops are included in the rotation, rotational planting provides the best of all worlds.
The idea is not just to vary the crops in a field, but the family of crops. Rotating cabbage after broccoli does no good, for example, because both are in the brassica family, subject to the same pests, diseases, and nutrient needs. So the first key to a good rotational plan is to vary the crop family on any one field or area.
The first key to a good rotational plan is to vary the crop family on any one field or area.
Lineback (American) cattle, 68 Lineback cattle, 68 liquid manure, 284 livestock acreage for, 66–67, 72 buildings for, 17 children and, 227 conventional farming and, 25 costs of, 66–67, 71 different breeds of, 67–68 diseases in, 119–124 equipment for, 67 feed for, 18, 22 guardians for, 125–127 hay and, 55 inspections and, 32 learning business of, 15 marketing and, 25 organic farming and, 21, 22 pasture for, 13 private labels, 32 purchasing, 15–17 safety and, 189, 218–220,
rope, and tape. The safest of these are the rope and tape, as wire is less forgiving in the event of entanglement. Many factors can influence the effectiveness of your electric fence—proper grounding, correct choice of low impedance charger, and the size of the pasture being electrified. You will also need to regularly remove weeds or tall grass that can grow up alongside the fence and short out your electrical current. In addition, you will need to decide if a solar charger will be suitable for
purchase feedstuffs used on your farm and for the sale of livestock to get the greatest benefit from your efforts. If your farm has used conventional practices with chemicals, you’ll have a three-year transition period before organic certification can be obtained. During this time no chemicals of any kind can be used on the land or on the animals, antibiotics cannot be used to treat the cattle, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) cannot be planted. Sustainable Farming Sustainable farming
machine drive or PTO. 6. Secure any dangling clothes, hair, or jewelry that could get tangled in the machine. 7. Never attempt to engage or disengage a v-belt drive by pulling on the belt with your hands. 8. If the machine is held up by hydraulic power, set blocks to prevent unexpected movement before you crawl underneath the machine. 9. Before you move a machine or engage the drive, be sure you know where any bystanders, especially children, are located. 10. Avoid moving in reverse unless
labeling requirements. If you’re raising animals for meat, you will need access to a slaughter facility that can guarantee your animal’s meat will be separated from others processed the same day. They can explain the costs involved in processing, packaging, and stamping your meat with your label for proper identification. Be sure that the facility is state or federal inspected. Developing your label and storage facilities should be done well in advance of slaughtering any animals. Clean, dry