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AGRO435 Midterm Exam

Satisfactory Essays
Since humans started farming thousands of years ago crop and livestock production systems have been integrated. Integration of crop and livestock systems enhanced profitability and environmental sustainability of farms and communities. (Russelle, Michael P., Martin H. Entz, and Alan J. Franzluebbers) Crop and livestock systems have always went hand and hand, that is, until the 19th century when farming became specialized resulting in separation of crop and livestock enterprises. Unfortunately crop and livestock enterprise integration is not nearly as common as it once was in this region. But today there are still many farmers who choose integrate crop and livestock enterprises. There are also local specialized crop and livestock farmers who work together and integrate their farms in order to receive some of the benefits of crop and livestock integration. There are four main benefits of integrating crop and livestock systems: “(I) Crops produced on the farm can be used to feed livestock; (II) livestock manure can serve as the primary source of nutrients for crop production, thereby cycling nutrients from the crops through the animals and back out onto the land; (III) livestock can serve as the sink for agricultural byproducts; and (IV) ruminant livestock encourage the establishment of perennial grass and legume forages as a primary feedstuff.” (Sulc, R. Mark, and Benjamin F. Tracy) There are many reasons to integrate crop and livestock enterprises. One of the most common reasons to integrate these crop and livestock enterprises is to stabilize economic returns and farm income. Integration of crop and livestock enterprises help farmers manage risk. The more enterprises that a farm has the more resilient it is to unforeseen risks. Th... ... middle of paper ... ...ostives. Farmers integrate crop and livestock enterprises for several reasons. Economics is one reason, and this is mainly to stabilize farm income and make it less variable from year to year. Crop and livestock enterprises complement each, and increase efficiency. (Increased forage usage, and nutrient cycling). These mechanisms lead to advantages in resource usage with crop/animal systems. Works Cited Russelle, Michael P., Martin H. Entz, and Alan J. Franzluebbers. "Reconsidering integrated crop–livestock systems in North America." Agronomy Journal 99.2 (2007): 325-334. Sulc, R. Mark, and Benjamin F. Tracy. "Integrated crop–livestock systems in the US Corn Belt." Agronomy Journal 99.2 (2007): 335-345. Thornton, P. K., and M. Herrero. "Integrated crop–livestock simulation models for scenario analysis and impact assessment." Agricultural Systems 70.2 (2001): 581-602.
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