11 Different Types Of Farms to Understand Farming

As a kid and a teenager, I used to take dairy farms as the only “farms”. It was later discovered that a farm is a place where agricultural products are produced and sold for profit. This discovery opened my eyes.

I began considering the agricultural activities as farming activities and the place where such activities are conducted as ” farms”. 

As the world is progressing so are the human needs, we are discovering more and more ways to satisfy the needs.

Gone are the days when the place where animals were kept or crops were grown used to be taken as a “farm”. 

Now several other similar and dissimilar activities are also carried out and the places where such activities take place are called farms as well.

There are several types of farms being operated out there, the most popular ones are;

Common Types Of Farms

  • Dairy farm
  • Poultry farm
  • Flower farm
  • Hay farm
  • Cooperative farm
  • Organic farm
  • Dry farm
  • Commercial farm

Dairy farm

Dairy farm

Dairy farms do not need any introduction but as it is the most common type of farming so it better be discussed first.

Dairy farms are established to earn from the sale of milk and other dairy products.

It is the oldest most profitable type of farm as the farmers have got tons of ways to earn money from.

The dairy farmers are crediting their bank accounts by offering breeding services and selling milk, meat, manure, and some processed dairy products. 

Dairy farming is considered a reputable and profitable profession in developing and developed countries.

India, China, Pakistan, Brazil, and America are the few examples where Dairy farming is adopted on a large scale.

Dairy farms further have several types; it is a general term we use for all types of dairy farms.

The goat, camel, buffalo, and cow farms are all types of dairy farms. A new type has just been added to the list.

In this type of dairy farming, donkeys are kept to produce milk as it is recently discovered that their milk is highly nutritious for infants.

Farm animals have been kept together for about 12000 years, so this profession is about that old.

However, today’s dairy farms are bigger and more advanced than the dairy farms of that time.

They have more to offer as well. The large-scale dairy farms these days are also involved in selling processed dairy products such as cheese and butter, etc. 

Modern dairy farmers have got more advanced equipment like Rotolactor(an advanced milling tool) to get the job done quickly and effectively.

The dairy farms a decade back had nothing much to offer other than milk, meat, or the animal for breeding or sale.

The milking and other regular dairy farm chores were performed by hand. Fortunately, a lot has evolved in all these years.

Poultry farm

Poultry farm

The second most widely adopted farming is referred to as ” poultry farm”.

Poultry farming is a practice of raising birds to produce and make money from selling meat, eggs, and feathers, etc. 

Poultry farms are preferred because they are profitable, require less capital, and space. Moreover, it does not demand a license to be taken seriously.

However, registration is compulsory if you are going to operate it on a large scale.

All you need is space, some basic amenities like water and electricity, and some capital to invest in birds and some other necessities to be recognized as a poultry farmer.

Like the above-mentioned type, Poultry farms do have types. The chicken, ducks, turkeys, and geese farms are all generally taken as poultry farms.

Out of all the options, the chicken poultry farm is easier to manage, reputable, and profitable.

The Chicken poultry farms can further have two types; one where only layers are raised and one where broilers are raised to meet the demands of the meat industry.

In poultry farming’s case, the person is allowed to raise only one kind of domestic bird at a time, it can be chicken, goose, duck, or turkey.

Whether it’s chicken, duck, goose, or turkey poultry farm, the person who owns the poultry farm is called a poultry farmer or a poulterer whereas, the birds are recklessly referred to as a flock. 

Poultry farming is no doubt profitable but it’s a rough job.

As per the survey conducted recently, the rate of injuries and illness is much higher in poultry farmers than construction workers or manufacturers.

The injuries are often caused by repetitive movements and awkward posture whereas the harsh weather conditions are mainly the reason for most illnesses.

Flower farm

flower farm

So after the two most widely known and accepted types of farming, here comes the least-known one; Flower farming. It is also referred to as Floriculture.

Floriculture or flower farming is a practice of cultivating flowering, ornamental plants for floristry, and gardens. 

These farm-grown flowers are sold in branches, bouquets, and pots.

The flower farmers either earn from selling flowers outside the coffee shops, grocery stores, wholesalers, floral designers, or by offering the entire gown plants for a sum of money. 

The flower farms can have any type of eye-catching bedding plants, cut cultivated greens, pot plants, houseplants, and cut flowers.

The most experienced flower farmers prefer cultivating roses, poinsettias, orchids, florist chrysanthemums, and finished florist azaleas.

The flowering plants are super profitable and easy to care for. 

Whatever flower, bedding plant, pot, or house plants the flower farmer chooses to cultivate and sell, flower farming remains a profitable business.

The average flower farmer earns around $42,287 whereas, the experienced flower farmers are making up to $75,500.

Hay farm

Hay farm

The processed grasses, legumes, and herbaceous plants are called hay.

The grasses, legumes, and herbaceous plants are collected, processed, and sold for the sake of profit.

The farm where all such activities take place is known as the hay farm. 

Hay farms are just as profitable as other types of farms, as per recent research the average hay farm owner is earning $51 per ton and $204 per acre.

Frankly, it’s not even hard to credit your bank account with $204 per acre.

All you have to do is let the plants go up to maturity, cut, dry, rank, gather, and tie them up in round or square bales. 

Moreover, the hay farm owner can also earn from selling loose hay.

However, to run the business successfully and be recognized as a successful hay farm owner the farm must be established on at least 10 acres(minimum). 

Hay farming is profitable but it can be risky sometimes, as the hay bales are perishable.

So, the farm owner can not store hay bales. He has to sell right away because it stays good only for five to six days. 

Cooperative farm

Cooperative farm

Cooperative farming is the least-known yet forgiving way to make a good living.

Cooperative farming is a practice in which small-scale farmers pool their resources to earn a reputable living from farming activities.

In simpler words, Cooperative farming is a practice in which the farmers join hands to invest money, time, and skill. They work as a team and share profits. 

Cooperative farming is a breath of fresh air for all the small-scale farmers who can not afford to go big.

It joins the farmers of the same background in an association to acquire better outcomes.

The idea of Cooperative farming hit a European’s mind back in the 17th century however the first Cooperative farm was established in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Despite being a widely adopted idea, Cooperative farming is yet to be discovered in some parts of the world. 

Cooperative farming can be of two types; supply Cooperative and Marketing Cooperative.

In the Supply Cooperative case, the farmers join hands to provide inputs for agricultural production including machinery, fuel, seeds, and fertilizers, etc.

Whereas Marketing Cooperatives the farmers are trained to provide transportation, packing, distribution, and marketing services. Both Supply and Marketing Cooperatives are equally profitable. 

Organic farm

Organic-farm

Organic farming is another common practice. Organic farming was first adopted thousands of years back and it is now the occupation of millions of people across the globe. 

Organic farming can be defined in many ways. It is an agricultural system in which preference is given to bone meal, green and compost manure.

It is an agricultural system in which the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides is strictly prohibited.

Organic farming is an agricultural system in which only the following synthetic substances are allowed to use;

  • Copper sulfate
  • Elemental sulfur
  • Plant growth regulators
  • Ivermectin
  • Genetically modified organisms 
  • Nanomaterials
  • Human sewage sludge
  • Hormones 

Organic farming is not at all about bringing a bad reputation to the modern ways.

It is rather about combining scientific knowledge, modern technology, and traditional farming practices for our betterment. 

Organic farming was adopted not only to provide safer output but to prove that the old-fashioned way is far better than the modern ones.

Besides serving us with safe agricultural output, organic farming is super effective in reducing soil erosion, decreasing nitrate leaching, and recycling animal wastes.

Moreover, it emits fewer greenhouse gases, hosts more birds, bees, butterflies, and provides higher biodiversity. 

With all the rewards organic farming has got some issues as well. It requires more land, mitigates the climate only in a certain way, and rewards with less output as compared to inorganic farming. However, the output is 100% safer and healthier to consume. 

Dry farm

Dry farm

Dry farm, dry farming, or dryland farming is a farming practice in which crops are cultivated without irrigation. It is usually practiced in limited moisture regions. 

The dry farming practitioners cultivate and earn from winter wheat, maize, beans, sunflowers, watermelons, pumpkins, beans, tomatoes, grapes, and some other summer crops. Basically, in dryland farming, only those fruits, vegetables, and farmed crops are cultivated that can grow from winter water stored in the soil.

All dry farming crops are smaller, quick maturing, and require less maintenance as compared to crops that grow under more humid conditions.

So, it makes the dryland farmers generate profit more quickly than the other farmers.

If generating more profit utilizing fewer resources is your concern, there is no better option than dryland farming.

Dryland farming was adopted way back and it still is the source of living for the natives of arid regions; the Mediterranean, Africa, Southern California, and some Arabic countries. 

Dry farming is an occupation of the people of India as well. Rajasthan, Maharashtra, central highlands of Gujarat, alluvial plains of Ganga Yamuna river basin, and Madhya Pradesh are the few areas where dryland farming adopted on a large scale. 

Commercial farm

Commercial farm

Commercial farming is known and recognized by several names; commercial agricultural, agribusiness, and commercial farm.

It is a farming practice in which crops are cultivated and livestock is raised.

The income from commercial farming is generated from rearing animals, selling crops, and dairy products.

Most commercial farmers across the globe cultivate and earn from wheat, maize, tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana, and cotton.

When it comes to animals, commercial farmers prefer investing in sheep, goats, cattle, and hogs. 

With all the rewards, it comes with a lot of struggles as well. Commercial farming can only be practiced on a large scale.

So, to be recognized as a successful commercial farmer or at least achieve an economy of scale it must be conducted at a large scale.

Moreover, commercial farmers are also involved in exporting their produce.

It should be conducted on a large scale so there must be enough produce to meet the demand.

The other issue commercial farming has got is that it is a capital-intensive option.

It requires a huge investment and a good amount of money to keep the farm running.

Most of the investment is spent on machinery(plows, harvesters, diggers, and planters) seedlings, fertilizers, and pesticides whereas, the running cost usually goes on the water, labor, electricity bills, and labor cost.

Commercial farming bombards us with loads of options. Grain farming, plantation farming, livestock ranching, Mediterranean agriculture, mixed crop, and livestock farming, and gardening and fruit farming are the few examples of commercial farming. 

In grain commercial farming, profit is earned by cultivating and selling grains such as corn, barley, and wheat.

Plantation farming has been around since colonial and slavery periods. It deals in rice, sugar, tobacco, and cotton. It is sensitive yet profitable as the overall cost is minimum. 

Livestock ranching is a practice where animals are raised for their meat products. Mediterranean farming, as the name suggests, is a farming practice conducted in Mediterranean countries.

Dates, grapes, figs, and olives are planted and sold for profit. Mixed farming is a type of commercial farming practice in which crops are planted and animals are raised.

In the last but not the least type of commercial farming; fruit and vegetables farming, fruits and vegetables are cultivated and sold for the gains.

Small Farm Types

These were the few most common types of farms, there are hundreds of other types as well. The other small scale types that deserve the limelight are;

  • Subsistence farm
  • Arable farm
  • Fish farm
  • Apiary

Subsistence farm

Subsistence farming is small-scale commercial farming where farmers grow food crops to meet the demands of their families.

Subsistence farming is more popular in developed countries than underdeveloped ones. It does not reward the farmers much other than the food crops.

The reason is that it is operated on a small-scale and only extra crops go out for sale.

Arable farm

Arable farming is a systematic use of land to grow crops such as grain crops (wheat, rice, maize, proso millets) pulse crop, (lentil, beans, and peas), oilseed crop(rapeseed, soybean, sunflower), forage crops (cowpea, clovers, alfalfa), fiber crop (cotton, sugarcane), Tuber crop (potato, cassava, and sugar beet).

The Arable farming sector has changed a lot in these years, the farmers are always on their toes to improve the soil quality and gain more profit.

Fish farm

Fish farming is also known as pisciculture. It is a farming activity that involves the commercial breeding of fish.

Mainly, the fishes are bred and raised for food and profit. Grass carp, silver carp, common carp, Nile tilapia, bighead carp, Catla, crucian carp, Atlantic salmon, Roho Labeo, milkfish, rainbow trout, Wuchang bream, northern snakehead, black carp, and amur catfish are the few fish breeds that are considered for fish farming. 

Apiary

Apiary is also known as “bee yard”, it is a unique practice in which the farmers keep honey bees to collect honey and sell it for profit.

It can be established on a small and large scale; whatever suits the farmers. Such farms are usually led in the rural areas, they are also owned and run by rural communities.

The world’s most profitable apiaries are running in the United States of America.

In brief, a farm is a place where crops are grown or animals are kept for profit. It can also be defined as a place where agricultural activities are carried out.

Dairy farm, Poultry farm, Flower farm, Hay farm, Cooperative farm, Organic farm, Dry farm, Commercial farm, Subsistence farm, Arable farm, Fish farm, and Apiary are the few types of farms.

  • Shumaila Ijaz is a Livestock expert and animal breeder. She has her own local farms for breeding and livestock nourishment. She is a research writer and answers the questions of readers.

Leave a Comment