5 Practices to Improve Your Farm’s Productivity
You expect to get high yields as you direct your attention and resources to your farm. The productivity of your farm is essential as it drives the growth of your farming operations and income.
To realize productive farming, you have to find ways to increase production. Constant improvement is an essential aspect of effective farm management. New techniques and farm practices allow farmers to maintain the sustainability of their farms and increase production.
With the right information, any farmer can increase the yields of their farms. As you look to assess the various practices that can make your farm activities more profitable, remember productivity reflects the inputs versus the outputs you get from your farm. A farm is considered productive when the farmer gets more produce than investment pumped into the farm.
With the right knowledge, especially in finding the right plants to intercrop, farmers can increase their fields' output and profits. There are several types of intercropping, ranging from mixed intercropping and relay intercropping to strip intercropping, to mention a few.
Farmers need to note that when intercropping is done, the plants will either facilitate each other for light, water and nutrients or compete. Intercropping aims to create a good balance between facilitation and competition.
In a situation with strong facilitation, one of the crops may act as the cover crop. In contrast, another crop increases nutrients in the soil or serves as a windbreaker to prevent erosion. Intercropping is practiced to improve farm output.
Intercropping has several benefits: increasing yields, reducing soil erosion, controlling weed infestation, and enhancing soil fertility through nitrogen fixation. The most common intercropping is legumes and cereals such as maize and beans or beans and cowpeas.
Farmers need to identify the needs of their soil and the best crops to address them. They also need to find out the most suitable crops to plant together.
2. High-Density Farming
The high-density farming technique is used to increase efficiency in farming by increasing crop yields without adding farm space. High-density planting is one of the easiest ways to increase crop yields, and it involves planting more plants than optimum.
The technique is used mostly for fruit farming, such as bananas, pineapples, and citrus fruits, and aims to balance the reproductive and vegetative load while at the same time maintaining plant health.
Growing vegetables between trees is also an example of high-density planting.
The technique comes with several benefits, such as inducing early development, reducing labor costs, enhancing crop quality, and increasing efficiency in using water, fertilizers, and pesticides.
3. Smart Water Agriculture
Practicing smart water can enhance your farm’s productivity in several ways. Water is critical to crop management and managing water systems is one of the ways to boost your farm’s productivity. Smart water management does improve productivity.
Automated farm drainage systems can ensure that your farm maintains the right moisture levels for maximum productivity. On the other hand, automated smart irrigation systems can be triggered depending on the soil moisture needs; this ensures your crops get adequate amounts of moisture and the efficient use of irrigation water through precision irrigation.
Adopting smart water agriculture will save water and energy and promote sustainable use of resources. This can bring overall savings in your farm management by reducing inputs and labor and hedging your crops against risks related to weather changes such as drought and flooding.
4. Heat Tolerant Crops
Temperature affects crops' rate of development. With climate change, warmer temperatures have been a common challenge among farmers and have impacted pollination, affecting production. Extreme temperatures have affected water levels on both ends in terms of loss and excess water in the soil, affecting crop health.
Increased temperatures have affected yields significantly. They have increased the rate of senescence, which has impeded the ability of crops to grow to maturity efficiently.
Farmers need to develop strategies that mitigate the effects of increased temperatures and climate change. The use of heat-tolerant varieties has proved effective, and it is something farmers should consider if they want to increase their yields.
For instance, planting heat-resistant crops with later maturing characteristics improves the thermal period required during grain filling seasons. This can increase the yields by a considerable percentage.
5. Use Fertilizers
Soils lose fertility due to many reasons, including; the removal of large quantities of nutrients by plants from the soils and other factors like erosion. If the quantities of nutrients used by plants exceed the nutrients available in the soil, there will also be an imbalance.
When the nutrients reserves don’t meet the requirements of crops, farmers are likely to experience declining yields. Amid the high population growth, farmers are experiencing a challenge in maintaining food production that will meet the demands due to low yields.
Plants need nutrients to grow, and if they lack them, they grow at a slow rate.
Farmers need to do soil tests to identify the nutrients missing in the soil; a section of your farm could lack nitrogen, and another part needs potassium.
The good news is if your farm is lacking nutrients, you can add them. You could use organic manure or synthetic fertilizers. Nitrogen fertilizers are instrumental for successful crop development as crops would not grow without nitrogen.
As your farm’s soil quality deteriorates for one reason or another, you have to increase the use of fertilizers to achieve the desired yields. To apply fertilizers effectively and efficiently, the fertilizer type must match the crop needs.
Ensure that the fertilizers are applied at the right time when the crops need them and in the right amounts.
Improve Your Farm’s Productivity with Midwest Land Management
For successful farm management, you need to learn how to increase your production. There are many methods, techniques, and technologies farmers are using across the globe to maintain their farmlands' sustainability.
Midwest Land Management team can equip you with information and knowledge that can help you improve far production. Contact us for more information on how we can partner for productive farm management.