Presented at the 2007 ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meetings: New Orleans, LA, November 4, 2007. 1 page. Copyright © 2007 by the authors. The definitive version is available at http://a-c-s.confex.com/crops/2007am/techprogram/P37001.HTM.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Charles F. Nicholson was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Mixed farming systems are defined by Sere and Steinfeld (1996) as those in which more than 10% of the dry matter fed to livestock comes from crop by-products or stubble, and more than 10% of the value of production comes from non-livestock farming activities. More simply, they are systems where livestock rearing and crop cultivation are, to a greater or lesser extent, integrated components of one farming system. The more integrated systems are characterized by interdependency between crop and livestock activity, optimizing circulation of locally available nutrients. The less integrated systems are those in which crop and livestock activities make use of, but do not rely on each other. Mixed farming systems are extremely important in developing countries. They produce the largest share of total meat (54%) and milk (90%) and are the main system for smallholder farmers in many developing countries (Thornton & Herrero, 2001); indeed two thirds of poor livestock producers rely on mixed crop-livestock systems for their livelihoods (ILRI, 2000).
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