Improving Small Farm Profitability – WEST AG INFORMATION NETWORK

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Improving the profitability of small farms

Tim Hammerich
Journalist

It’s time to publish your Farm of the Future report. I am Tim Hammerich.

“Grow up or get out” is a very common theme in agriculture. But could technology help slow or reverse farm consolidation? Zack Smith created the StockCropper, which allows farmers to graze poultry and livestock between crop rows and sell them directly to consumer livestock. He hopes this can make small farms more profitable.

Smith… “So there will be two paths in farming in the future. There will be the path of the pursuit of low cost production of commodities which will increase as much as you can. And then there will be an alternate path where you focus on growing something that has more added value. And it’s really space that interests me. And I mean, it’s a system that I think if we can get our costs to where we think we can get them on these barns, that we can design an agricultural system that could market to consumer classes where you could earn your life on 160 acres instead of needing 1600 or 16,000.”

Smith would like to see farm profitability on a smaller acreage bring more people back to rural communities.

Smith… “For those who want to be in production farming but their family only owns 80 acres or 160. So can you afford to have a $400,000 combine to farm this in the current paradigm ? Absolutely not. But what if you could have a system where you could have equipment that could help you create value on that smaller square footage and a system to market that to people who want it? That’s really what interests me. »

Smith plans to offer these mobile pasture units for sale in the coming year.

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