Commercial farming is the pillar of the modern global agriculture industry. Large-scale farming is not a new concept. As far back as 500 BC,
People have been using sulfur as an early form of insecticide since 500 BC. The foundation of commercial farming was laid thousands of years ago.
However the most striking transformations have occurred in the last century. A large part of this transformation is due to technological and scientific advances. Supplements, medications, and feed additives for livestock allow producers to protect and enhance the health of their livestock.
Although genetically modified foods are often considered unsafe and less nutritious, high-quality animal feed additives improve the health and nutrition of animals without genetic modification.
What is Commercial Farming?
Commercial farming requires farmers to grow crops and rear animals for economic activity. Due to the requirement for a high amount of output, farmers cultivate more extensive land areas with heavy use of machinery. Commercial farming occurs when the farm is set up to produce crops and farm animals for sale to make a profit.
Commercial grain farming
As the name suggests, farmers grow grains and trade them in the market in this method. Maize and wheat are the most common crops of commercial grain farming. Farmers of Europe, Asia, temperate grasslands of North America generally practice this type of farming.
Plantation farming is a mix of agriculture and industry practiced across a vast land area. Additionally, he owners of plantations usually grow a single crop like banana, coffee, tea, etc., in a plantation and use technological support to process the yield on the farm itself or a factory attached to it. The end product works as a raw material for industries. For instance, the rubber industry uses the rubber produced from its plantation as raw material.
This farming method involves the cultivation of crops, rearing livestock, and growing their fodder. It is common in parts of the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and South Africa to do mixed farming for a living.
Commercial farms are much larger than regular family farms because economies of scale are richly sought after due to the immense competition. Commercial farms regularly employ outside help due to the level of work required. They also use new technologies to increase output and create competitive advantages.
Commercial Farming in the Millennium
The decade’s buzzword in the agriculture industry is all about viability. This has led to significant concern that the agriculture industry won’t be able to support the extensive growth. As the population numbers rise, food production can struggle to meet the demand. This problem can lie in new agriculture technology advances and modern farming methods that focus on increased output and efficiency.
- Common goals of Viable farming
- Managing water consumption
- Reducing pollution
- Promoting biodiversity
- Maintaining the health of livestock and crops
Traditionally, crops have been watered using sprinklers that distribute water across the vast land. Moreover, the crops lose a significant portion of the water. Water problems arise for livestock producers, especially those who experience drought and live in consistently warm environments.
Since water is an essential component of survival for their animals, it becomes imperative for farmers to practice water management and conservation strategies. Modern farming technology helps address various problems livestock farmers face, including water scarcity, pollution from manure, and the animal’s access to nutrition.
Importance of Commercial Farming
Commercial farming deals with everything about the growing of crops. It also includes rearing animals for food, raw materials, or export, particularly for good reasons. To achieve the economy of scale, commercial farming has to be very efficient and practiced on a massive scale as the farmer’s goal is to maximize their profit margin. Modern commercial agriculture solely focuses on producing crops and farm animals for sale, using the most advanced, efficient, and recent technologies.
Due to this, there is a substantial investment in capital, workforce, and land. This makes commercial farming the main driver and influencer of the global agriculture industry. Commercial farming is worrying to some extent despite the positive results. Several insecticides, fertilizers, weed killers, and pesticides are used. Moreover, it utilizes vast parcels of land and uses a lot of water. These practices are a matter of concern for those fighting for a viable environment.
Characteristics of Commercial Farming
The livestock and crops are produced on a large scale. They are grown in huge farms, using machinery, chemical fertilizers, irrigation methods, and other technologies. The primary point of producing such products on a large scale is to export them to other countries or regions where they are in high demand.
For instance, The nations in the Middle East are dependent on on food imports since the climate in those countries cannot support farming.
Commercial farming involves livestock rearing and crops production in large numbers. For this reason, it requires a vast area of land, advanced technology, and expertise to meet the expected production targets or goals.
The practice requires a lot of investment before it is started. Therefore, this implies that it requires a lot of capital to get it up and run. Hence, a lot of investment is required for purchasing farm materials such as seedlings or seeds, fertilizers and pesticides, machinery, the farm itself, and pay for expenses such as water and electricity bills, expertise and labor.
High Yielding Varieties (HYV)
The practice of commercial farming uses high doses of modern inputs. There is usage of high-yielding varieties of seeds, weed killers, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. This helps to achieve higher production but has negative effects on environmental sustainability.
Heavy Machinery and Human Labor
Commercial farming requires ample supplies of both skilled and unskilled labor. While skilled labor in commercial work comes from professionals, unskilled labor tends to exploit immigrants and people living in absolute poverty. It also requires heavy machinery such as diggers, trailed sprayers, harvesters, plows, and planters, to mention a few, to meet the targets and goals in time and meet the skills of the production system.
Practiced all Year Round
Commercial agriculture is unique as the farmers can irrigate the land or keep the farm systems operational. They do not rely on the rains or natural supplies as ordinary farmers do since they have advanced technologies, machines, and artificial growth enhancers to have their crops or animals sustained throughout.
Advantages of Commercial Farming
There are several advantages of commercial farming such as.
- Encourages Development in Local Infrastructure – Commercial farming helps an area or country establish or improve the area’s infrastructure, such as electricity and roads. Commercial farms are dependent on electricity.
- Job Creation – Commercial farming is a source of jobs for people living within the area. The workers can earn money, thus enabling them to provide food for their families. Commercial farming stimulates the growth of the local economy.
- Lowering the Price of Products – Commercial farming assists in decrease the cost of agricultural products since the crops are available in the market in enough numbers. Therefore, the forces of demand and supply operate to lower the prices of such commodities.
- Increased Production and Enhancing Food Security – Commercial farming mechanizes operations to control pests and diseases, enabling the farms to produce more. This led to an increase in commercial farmers increase production, helping increase the national stock of food products.
- Provision of Raw Materials for Agribusiness Manufacturing Companies – Commercial agriculture provides more raw materials to feed the local and international industries that produce or manufacture agricultural by-products. Manufacturing juices is enabled by farming fruits such as mangoes, pineapples, and oranges in commercial quantities. Cocoa and Coffee farming also serves the confectionery industries.
- Lowering the Cost of Production – As the farmers employ more efficient production methods, like harvesters, plows, and planters, harrowers, the operations of the commercial farmers become cheaper in the long run.
- Earn Valuable Foreign Exchange – Commercial farming helps countries earn a high foreign exchange. Countries in West Africa have earned the lucrative foreign exchange for cocoa and coffee exports, which is an economic growth booster.
Disadvantages of Commercial Farming
Some of the disadvantages associated with commercial farming include
- Commercial farming is destroying the natural rainforests to increase the area of production land as the site under the coverage of rainforest is best to carry out cultivation. When the clearing of forest takes place for cultivation of crops, you get the negatively impact deforestation on the environment.
- With the continuous increase in commercial farming, more and more farmers are pursuing the profession, and every available land is turning to farmland. With immense traction in farmlands, you do not have more lands available for cultivation. Farmers have to use worn-out lands. This can impose a threat to the production rate.
- Land prices for commercial farming are at much higher rates, making it impossible for the new farmers to purchase the land and enter the business.
- Commercial farming promotes fertilizers, herbicides, and other chemicals to protect the crops against insect attacks. However, these chemicals, in turn, are a vivid threat to humankind.
The commercial farms have the potential to become commercially viable and economically self-sufficient. It offers a multitude of quality of life benefits for community residents, which may include:
- economic security and sustainability;
- empowerment of small business owners and entrepreneurs;
- access to employment opportunities, job training, and skill development;
- expanded access to nutritious food;
- community beautification and safety; and
- greater opportunities for interpersonal connection.
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