Integrated farming

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Integrated farming is a term for a type of agriculture which is based on integrative biology. The concept is closely related to organic agriculture, although the two are not exactly synonymous. Much has been written on the subject of integrated farming by agriculture experts such as Joel Salatin. [1] [2] Integrated farming practices are also promoted by the Faith-Based Sustainable Agriculture conferences.

Characteristics of integrated farming

Although by no means universal, general characteristics of the integrative mode of farming include:

  • Two-species successional grazing, a cycle of rotational grazing in which two livestock species (e.g. cattle and goats) are alternated, followed by a rest period to allow regrowth
  • Ridge tilling
  • Conjugal joint venture (husband and wife work together on the operation, and have equal decision-making power)
  • Deliberate introduction of specific microorganisms to the soil
  • Avoidance of chemical pesticides
  • Detailed recordkeeping by means of an agricultural diary
  • Use of corn gluten meal as a pre-emergence herbicide
  • The use of improved OP crop varieties, rather than hybrids or GM crops
  • Intercropping
  • Reserving an area of the farm for wild habitat
  • Planting of cornflower or marigold borders around crop fields in order to ward off insects
  • The use of phenological indicators to time planting and other tasks

References

  1. Countryside & Small Stock Journal, The Integrated Homestead, Sept-Oct 2007 and Nov-Dec 2007
  2. Progressive Farmer, 2007

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