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Commercial Farming

In commercial Farming crops are grown and animals are reared for sale in the market, that is, for commercial purposes, while in Subsistence farming crops are grown mainly for the farmer’s family needs.

Commercial Farming can be broadly classified into 3 categories.


In Commercial Farming:

  • The area cultivated and the amount of capital invested is large
  • Most of the work is done by machines


Commercial Grain Farming

  • In Commercial Grain Farming crops are grown for commercial purpose.
  • Wheat and maize are common commercially grown grains.
  • Commercial Grain Farming is mostly practised in the temperate grasslands of North America, Europe and Asia.
  • These areas are sparsely populated with large farms spreading over hundreds of hectares.
  • Severe winters restrict the growing season and only a single crop is grown.


This distinctive type of agriculture known as ‘commercial grain farming’ was developed in US. It is a type of agriculture that is largely dependent on mechanization. It started with the invention of farm machinery in the early twentieth century. The use of machineries allows farmers to cultivate grains on a large scale.




Mixed Farming

  • In mixed farming the land is used for growing food and fodder crops and rearing livestock.
  • It is practised in Europe, eastern USA, Argentina, southeast Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Mixed farming is the combining of two independent agricultural enterprises on the same farm.

A typical case of mixed farming is the combination of crop enterprise with dairy farming, that is, crop cultivation with livestock farming. Mixed farming may be treated as a special case of diversified farming. This particular combination of enterprises, support each other and add to the farmer’s profitability.

The cropping system comprises of one or more crops. Most farmers follow cropping patterns that involves:

  • Sequential cropping
  • Mixed-cropping
  • Relay cropping.

Mixed cropping involves the simultaneous growing of two or more crops intermingled on the same land.


Crop-livestock Integration
Cattle grazing under coconut trees



Mixed cropping: pyrethrum and maize



The advantages in mixed cropping

  • Greater stability of yield over different seasons
  • Better use of growth resources
  • Better control of weeds, pests, and diseases
  • One crop may provide physical support to another one
  • One crop provides shelter to the other crop
  • Erosion control through providing continuous leaf cover over the ground surface
  • Benefit to small farmers of limited means.


Plantation Agriculture

  • Plantations are a type of commercial farming system where single crop of tea, coffee, sugarcane, cashew, rubber, banana or cotton are grown.
  • Large amount of labour and capital are required.
  • The produce may be processed on the farm itself or in nearby factories.
  • The development of a transport network is essential for such farming.
  • Major plantations are found in the tropical regions of the world - Rubber in Malaysia, coffee in Brazil, tea in India and Sri Lanka.

Tea Plantation

Coffee Plantation

Sugarcane Plantation

Rubber Plantation



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