Some farmland owners have a desire to do both arable, and pastoral, farming. This is a big commitment, and should not be a decision that is made without some careful thought and planning. In the end, it can be a good choice. It means that all the expectations of the farm are not being placed in just one category. If one farming activity falters, then there is a good chance the other will carry the financial burden.
Setting Up the Mixed Farming Operation
One of the first things that have to be decided is if the land is capable of handling both forms of farming. For the arable farming operation, the soil has to be good, and it has to be reasonably level land. It should be sheltered from the extreme weather. For the pastoral, the area has to be able to handle the animals that are going to become part of the farming operation. Sheep are more flexible than other animals when it comes to land conditions. The dairy stock needs flatter terrain and constant access to good grass.
Type of Farming Operation
Another significant decision that has to be made is, whether the farming operation is going to be a commercial entity, or what is called subsistence. What this means, is that the farm is only going to sustain the farmer and his family. The farm will produce just enough for this use, and there will be nothing left for selling. This is a small scale operation and one that usually creates a less significant financial commitment.
The resources for any farming operation are going to be made up of different elements. There are the physical components. This includes the land and the weather environment. Then, there are the human factors such as the demand for different types of machinery and support workers.