Big vs small farms?
Welcome back, dear friends! On our blog today we are trying to find an answer to a question that we hear often, but that isn’t so easy to answer. And it can sometimes be misleading or confusing.
The question is: Do big farms and small family businesses have a different approach to agriculture? Well, probably there are different methods to do the same job when it comes to soil preservation, food safety, biodiversity, and precision farming. Let’s take a closer look together!
Comparison between the two scenarios
We’ve already seen in earlier posts how growing population and climate change have a deep impact on agriculture. Soil erosion, animal health, and the use of fertilizers are just some of the reasons to worry for both big and small farms.
How to react in such a threatening environment? Let’s see what the two entities do...
1. Soil preservation
Beneath our feet there is a world to protect and safeguard, but how?
Big farming businesses can make use of innovative technologies to ease operations, increase efficiency, being gentle to the land. There are many examples of special technological features such as soil sensors to measure the water level, drones, satellite pictures for monitoring crops, insect plagues and the health of the livestock. Moreover, there are excellent irrigation systems and equipment that allow for less soil compaction.
Small family farms instead, exercise a direct control of their lands. If you have smaller areas you can observe your land’s health directly adopting best practices such as crop rotation, strip cropping, or terracing, in order to improve soil fertility and yield.
2. Food safety
Producing plenty of food for ourselves and future generations is another goal to keep an eye on. Food safety is directly linked to healthy farming resulting in increased yields.
Big farming businesses rely on equipment that is able to identify detailed information on changes in harvest. This is a great help for major productivity. The same goes for cultivating crops such as trefoil or alfalfa, which contribute to make the soil richer and healthier.
Small family businesses have long-lasting farming traditions. They know well that a richer and healthier soil means more yields. Introducing regenerating crops such as evergreens within the rotation cycle, and supplying the soil with nutrients by means of natural and organic compost rich of carbon, are excellent techniques to increase a farm’s yield.
Calming down the fears related to soil erosion and the massive use of chemical fertilizers is possible through biodiversity. This goes for both big and small farms. Biodiversity is an essential factor. Cultivating a large variety of seeds with different properties and different needs for nutrients is very important to reduce the environmental impact and the use of fertilizers, increasing instead productivity and ensuring a rich soil.
4. Precision farming
How to establish the right amount of fertilizers? Precision farming has the right answers.
Large farming businesses make use of satellite data to set up and work out production maps that are able to define the specific needs of any micro-area and to establish the ideal quantity to fertilizers and nitrogen for each micro-area to favor crop fertility.
In smaller farms that often don’t have the means for such investments, farmers rely on their machinery and tires: using double rotor spreaders, for instance, allows to homogeneously distribute fertilizers on every square meter without the need for satellite models.
And you? Which is your side? Whether you are a big or small farmers, we at BKT stand by you offering solutions that meet your needs. Discover the right tire for your machinery for big or small pieces of land on our website!