In agriculture, crop husbandry is the main activity. The income obtained from cropping is hardily sufficient to sustain the farm family through out year. Activities such as dairying, poultry, fich- culture, sericulture, biogas production, edible mushroom cultivation, agro- forestry, agri- horticulture etc. assumes critical importance in supplementing their farm income. Assumed regular cash flow is possible when cropping is combined with other enterprises. Judicious combination of enterprises keeping in view of the environment condition of a locality will pay grater dividends. At the same time it will promote effective recycling of residues/ wastes.
Integrated farming system seems to be the answer to the problems of increasing food production. For increasing income and for improving nutrition of the small scale farmers with limited resources without any adverse effect on environment and agro- eco-system. In a cropping system. The amount of byproducts can be as high as or higher than marketable produce. This may go to waste if not utilized in an animal waste component and to reduce the cost of production of the economic produce of component two and finally to entrance the net income of the farm is whole.
Livestock is the best complementary enterprises with cropping, especially during the adverse years. Installation of a biogas plant in crop- livestock system will make use of the wastes, at the same time provides valuable manure and gas for cooking and lighting.
In a wetland farm, there are greater avenues for fishery, duck farming and buffalo rearing; utilizing the rice straw and mushroom production can be started.
Under irrigated condition (garden lands) inclusion of sericulture, poultry and piggery along with arable crop production is an accepted practice. The poultry component in this system can make use crop the grains produced in the farm as feed. Pigs are the unique components that can be reared with the waste which are unfit for human consumption.
In Rainfed farming, sheep and goat rearing form an integrated part of the landscape, sericulture can be introduced in Rainfed farming provided the climatic condition permit it.
Agro- forestry (silvi- culture and silvi- horticulture) is \the other activities, which can vbe included under dry land condition. In the integrated system, selection of enterprise should be on the cardinal principal that there should be minimum competition and maximum complementary effect among the enterprises.
1. Upland Irrigated Farming Systems: Additional income can be generated by enterprises like dairy biogas and silvi culture to the usual cropping systems. Two to three milch cows can be maintained from one ha. Straw. Recycling of farm and animal wastes through biogas unit can produce cooking gas for family use. Several such integration can greatly increase farm income, besides providing work to family members all through the year.
2. Farming System Under Lowland: common cropping system in rice based system, especially under agro climatic condition of south India is rice- rice – pulse, modified cropping system includes crops like maze, groundnut, sesamum, rice – fish – poultry culture system appears to more remunerative, poultry droppings from the poultry shed placed well above the farm poned meets the needs of fish in the ponded water, Water in the pond can be used for irrigating the crops. About 500 layer chicks are sufficient and excreta can meet the feed requirement of 7, 500 polyculture fingerlings in one ha of poned water rice- fish system is also remunerative.
3. Rainfed Farming Systems: Environmentally sustainable dry land farming systems emphasis conservation and utilization of natural resources. Agronomic practices of conservation, tillage and mulch farming, rotational cropping use of legumes and cover crops for improving soil fertility and suppressing weeds and efficient use of cattle manure are some of the components of sustainable farming systems.
For above regulation sound land use policy is necessary to tackle the problems of deteriorating natural resources, like soil and water. Majority farmers mainating work animals, milch animal, chicks, sheep, goats etc. with crop production. Farmers approaching farming systems, but benefits from these system is low, because of non- educating and also due to non- adoption of improved technology.