Types of Farming Systems

16 Best Types of Farming Systems Farmers Must Know

Farming may seem like an easy business to set up on your own and run from home, but it’s actually quite complicated and requires a lot of hard work to make sure you have everything in order.

If you want to start your own farming operation, there are 5 types of farming systems you need to know that will help you get started without any problems.

This article provides information about 5 types of farming systems that you should know about if you want to be successful.

The List of Types of Farming Systems

  • Arable farming
  • Mixed farming
  • Sedentary Farming
  • Subsistence farming
  • Shifting Cultivation
  • Plantation farming
  • Pastoral/Livestock farming
  • Commercial Farming
  • Nomadic farming
  • Extensive and Intensive Farming
  • Poultry Farming
  • Fish Farming
  • Apiary farming
  • Dairy Farming
  • Flower Farming
  • Hay Farming

The List of Other Types of Farming Systems You Can Consider

  • Permaculture
  • Agroforestry
  • Aquaculture
  • Urban farming

1. Permaculture

Permaculture is one of the types of farming systems of agricultural and social design principles centered around simulating or directly using the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems.

Practitioners of permaculture use various techniques, such as catchment hydrology, composting, recycling, and companion planting.

One example is creating a forest garden, where trees are planted to provide fruit or nuts while their leaves break down and form compost for the other plants.

When done intensively, it can be used for food production. Larger-scale permaculture design integrates natural features such as streams and ponds, terracing, built structures and windbreaks that surround cultivated land.

In these systems, plants are selected not only for their value in nourishment and aesthetics but also for their ability to work together with other species in supporting complementary functions that enhance each other’s growth.

2. Subsistence farming

Subsistence farming is one of the small-scale types of farming systems where people grow food for their own consumption. The crops grown typically consist of vegetables and grains, and livestock are often raised in the same area as the crops.

Subsistence farming is historically common in many parts of the world, but it’s becoming less prevalent as land prices increase and urbanization increases.

Subsistence farmers are often referred to as peasant farmers, and usually face conditions similar to those in developing countries.

The major difference is that such poor people live in a developed country, so although they make less money than their higher-income counterparts, there’s more opportunity for economic advancement.

Such farmers are also referred to as smallholder farmers because they own and manage small plots of land that do not exceed five hectares.

3. Agroforestry

Agroforestry is one of the types of farming systems where trees are grown among crops or pastureland. It’s used as a way to provide shade, windbreaks, and erosion control.

Agroforestry can also benefit the environment by restoring degraded land, conserving biodiversity, and sequestering carbon. The most common types of agroforestry systems include alley cropping, forest farming, hedgerows, and shelterbelts.

Farmers typically use this method in areas with low-quality soil so they don’t have to clear more forested areas for agriculture.

Agroforestry systems need at least five years before their benefits become noticeable, but their long-term productivity often outweighs their short-term needs.

It’s especially important that farmers diversify their livelihoods because it gives them protection against unpredictable weather events and other natural disasters like droughts or floods. If a farm specializes only in one crop, the whole harvest can be lost if there’s a frost or flood.

So far there are about 5 million hectares (12 million acres) of agricultural lands using agroforestry practices around the world. The biggest advantages of using these kinds of systems are:

1) Increases water retention: Water conservation is an important part of any sustainable food production system.

2) Provides habitat for wildlife: Many species depend on nearby forests and grasslands in order to survive.

3) Improves income streams: In many places, small farms generate much higher levels of income than when only relying on agriculture alone.

4.  Aquaculture

Aquaculture is one of the farming systems of aquatic organisms. It can be done in saltwater or fresh water and can include fish, shellfish, and plants. The goal is to grow these organisms to a size that is worth harvesting for human consumption. This type of farming system has been around since ancient times with evidence showing that it was being used as early as 4000 BCE by the Hohokam people in what is now Arizona.

Though aquaculture first came about thousands of years ago, it wasn’t used on a large scale until much later.

However, since 1960, it has grown by leaps and bounds and is now one of the most popular forms of farming in both freshwater and marine environments.

Experts believe that if current growth trends continue, aquaculture will soon be producing more seafood than wild-caught fisheries.

Tilapia is a species of fish that are farmed extensively as a source for human consumption.

They’re easy to raise and don’t take up much space, which makes them ideal for home aquaculture enthusiasts. In addition, they have a mild flavor and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Tilapia grows quickly and can reach sizes suitable for harvest in just four months, or even less in warmer climates where they grow year-round.

5. Urban farming

Urban farming is one of the fastest-growing types of farming systems in agriculture. With the population steadily increasing and some estimates predicting that it will double by 2050, the need for more food has never been higher.

As a result, urban farming is a popular solution for those who want to produce food but don’t have enough land.

The easiest way to begin farming in an urban environment is by planting a container garden. To do so, you’ll need only small amounts of soil and water.

If you have some land or a backyard, consider using a compost tumbler, which enables you to produce your own compost from the organic waste collected from around your home or neighborhood.

For those who are eager to pursue farming as a full-time career, on-farm training is an essential aspect of urban agriculture. With enough knowledge and some financial backing, you could buy or lease your own land so that you can start selling food in stores and restaurants.

Be sure that you comply with all local laws before embarking on such a journey. Some cities have strict zoning ordinances regarding farming in certain areas, so you should verify that your property is eligible for agricultural use.

What is the farming system?

The farming system is the way that crops are grown and harvested. There are five major farming systems that you need to know about: intensive monoculture, extensive monoculture, mixed polyculture, agroforestry, and permaculture.

Intensive monoculture (also called industrial monoculture, which is a slightly different but very similar method) is used on a large scale, usually with large tractors or other farm machinery. The crops are harvested when they’re ready and sold immediately, at peak ripeness.

In extensive monoculture, also called subsistence farming, crops are harvested when they’re ripe and sold or consumed immediately. The farm is usually not mechanized, but instead relies on hand labor, animals, and simple tools. Crops are rotated seasonally so that soil isn’t worn out and yields are maximized.

How many farming systems are there?

There are many different types of farming systems in the world and it can be hard to keep up with them all! Above are five different types, but there are more out there. It’s important to know what system you’re working with in order to understand how your farm works.

The five above range from traditional agriculture (large tracts of land) down to urban farming (smaller areas). For example, a hydroponics system might use water rather than soil for growing crops.

A mixed-crop agroforestry system is designed to produce two or more products at once like timber or fruit trees along with food. And permaculture uses natural systems like ponds and forest edges as part of I overall design.

All these variations provide benefits over one type alone hydroponics is well suited for cities without enough space for a field, while an agroforestry system will create much-needed habitat for local wildlife.

What are the main agricultural systems?

The main agricultural systems are agroforestry, annual cropping, perennial cropping, traditional mixed farming, and organic farming. Agroforestry entails the planting of trees and shrubs among crops or near farm buildings to reduce soil erosion and add nutrients through litterfall.

Annual cropping is a system where the same crop is grown over and over again in the same field. Perennial cropping is when the same crop species continues to be grown on the same plot year after year.

Traditional mixed farming combines elements of annual and perennial cropping with animal husbandry. There are many variations on these themes, but it is fair to say that most traditional farming systems have at least some aspects of all five, the other main agricultural system used today is organic farming.

What are modern types of farming systems?

Modern farming systems are a type of agricultural production system that is used on large-scale commercial farms.

Modern farming systems use high levels of technology, chemical inputs, and mechanization to achieve an increased level of production efficiency.

Today’s modern farming system is based on the principles of monoculture and mono-cropping.

There are three different types of modern farming systems. First, is mechanical production and harvest, in which a combine harvester moves down a field while collecting crops, and then delivers them to an elevator.

The Second is measured application farming, in which chemicals are applied to a field with more precise measurement than previous methods allowed.

The final type is integrated farming, which involves raising animals like chickens or fish in an area separate from where crops are grown, so as not to disturb their food source. One example of this would be aquaponics.

What are traditional farming methods?

Traditional farming methods are labor intensive, which can be costly in terms of time and money. One traditional farming method is the use of plows. Plowing the land by hand or with an animal-drawn plow has always been a way for farmers to prepare their fields for planting and harvesting crops.

Plowing loosens the soil, making it easier for seeds to take root, and allowing roots access to nutrients in the earth below.

After plowing, you need to fertilize the ground before you plant your seedlings. To fertilize the ground after plowing, a farmer might spread manure over his field or spread chemical fertilizer on top of the soil before seeding his crop.

Many other types of farming systems have emerged as more efficient ways to produce crops while conserving natural resources and saving money, such as hydroponics, aquaponics, permaculture, and organic farming.

What is the best method of farming?

The best farming method is the one that suits your needs the best. There are a lot of systems out there, so you should research and find the system that will work best for you. 

 In conventional agriculture, synthetic fertilizers are applied as needed and pesticides may be used as well. Organic farmers do not use any synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on their crops but instead, rely on naturally occurring substances such as manure from cows or horses.

Permaculture relies on sustainable design principles and focuses on feeding natural ecosystems instead of monocultures, A polyculture is when a farmer plants many varieties of plants together in one place.

Monocultures are when only one type of plant is grown in an area at the same time. Finally, GMO crops have had their DNA altered in a lab and it often requires fewer insecticides than other methods because it is designed to repel pests on their own.

What are the new methods of agriculture?

Sustainability, for example, is a new method of agriculture that’s important for the future of farming. It’s an approach that includes the idea of meeting human needs while maintaining ecosystem health and vitality.

The other four methods are agroforestry, permaculture, integrated farming systems, and precision agriculture. Agroforestry is a land use system that combines crops with trees or shrubs.

Permaculture goes one step further than agroforestry by also incorporating animals and composting.

Integrated farming systems incorporate three or more agricultural practices such as crop rotation, companion planting, intercropping, green manures, cover crops, and others in order to get better yields from less land area.

Precision Agriculture is the practice of using global positioning data coupled with satellite imagery to make decisions about where to plant crops for maximum efficiency.


In conclusion, there are five types of farming systems you need to know about. The first type is the intensive monoculture system, which includes intensive agriculture and industrial agriculture.

The second type is the extensive system, which includes natural farming. The third type is mixed-methods or mixed cropping systems. Fourthly there are Agroforestry systems and finally permaculture.

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