People get a major part of the food they consume out of farmed crops. Farming can be pursued as a small project or a commercial one. Are you interested in growing crops for either reason? We have a guide that will help you understand the basics of crop farming.
Farmed crops are a major source of food for human and raw materials for industries. Human has cultivated plants for sustenance ever since.
In the modern times, these crops are further processed to make substances for various other uses. And due to population increase, new technologies have emerged to enable farmers to grow crops at higher yields, larger size, and with more resistance to pests and insects.
Farms can be run as small family farms of less than 10 acres or as a commercial one with sales of at least $250,000. They could be managed intensively as a small project or run with the latest in farming technology. But just the same, farmers of crops of any size face basically the same forces and challenges.
Suitability of Crops to Soil and Climate
Crops grow best under certain conditions. Each crop has its specific soil quality, water and weather requirements for optimum growth. As a result, some crops perform well in some regions and not in others. Basic to anyone wanting to start a crop is to determine the suitability of the crop to the land and weather condition of the farm. Some of these requirements could be met through added investment and man-made resources, for example an irrigation system to meet water requirements.
Weed, Pest and Insect Control
Pests and insects can destroy crops and erase profits. Weeds can be hard and expensive to control resulting to higher production costs. Controlling these factors is a challenge to any farmer. Chemical means to control the proliferation of pests and insects are available, but this has raised concerns for the welfare of the environment. Disease control through more environmentally friendly methods is now being adopted.
Crop Farming Yield and Profitability
To make the most out of the land and time resources invested for each crop, every farmer aims to reach the maximum cost effective yield for every crop. Yields are affected by factors such as pests, insects and weeds and by the ability of the soil to nurture the crop. Crop-rotation is often employed to allow the soil to replenish the nutrient consumed by specific crops and to prevent the proliferation of pests and insects.
Crop farming is subject to various forces that constantly change – weather, demand, regulations, and prices. As such, profitability in crop farming is not only a function of yield and costs, but also of these market forces. For a farm to profit, it must adroitly deal with these forces.
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