12 Proven Ways to Make Money Farming a Small Farm.
Make Money Farming a Small Farm: Many people today, especially in the corporate urban regard farming as a second class profession. They think the profitability of agriculture especially in its subsistence form is a myth. Read on to know how you can make money farming a small farm.
Though small farmers believe their lives are far from ideal, I can’t think of any farmer who would switch to a life in the city.
So how do you get the best of both worlds? Through diversification and thinking like an entrepreneur, you can achieve a much higher yield from your farm while keeping the lifestyle you love.
A tree nursery can be a great investment when done right. Most farmers start with 10 to 20 seedlings in a small acre.
You can buy small trees for around $20 each, or raise them from scratch, and with the right marketing strategy, they would have the baby trees sold out before they mature.
Research how to organically source the trees you want to grow. Fruit tree propagation, for example, can be done by grafting or budding and this increases your chances of producing the same variety of trees as opposed to using seeds.
2. Chicken Broilers
People often want to raise laying hens, but broiler chickens are more quickly profitable. They’re right for profitable farming, in that they’re ready for market in six to nine months.
These broilers are often at a sellable weight (4 pounds or so) in just a couple of months and go for $3 to $6 a pound depending on your market. They occupy very little room, can be raised on pasture (which will increase their price per pound), and bring in a decent return very quickly.
3. Rabbit Farming
Another spectacularly fast-producing livestock species for a budding agriculturist seeking profitable farming is the rabbit Not every rabbit does well on pasture, so look for breed stock from a person who already raises them in this way if that is your intention.
In roughly the same amount of time as broiler chickens, you can have rabbits ready for market—depending on the breed—in eight to 12 weeks for a 4- to a 5-pound animal.
Research your local processors or home-processing laws before raising rabbits to make sure it’s legally viable. However, rabbits’ niche quality among chefs makes them highly marketable and profitable.
4. Agronomy consultancy
You can earn money from agriculture by rendering advice to farmers on their crops and investments. Agronomy consultants are always in high demand.
Agronomy provides research background knowledge for farmers. They help to supplement the traditional knowledge of the way farmers do their things with new technologies and tools to increase yields and produce tastier and healthier farm produce.
5. Pastured Chicken
Selling pastured chicken meat on your farm can be very profitable. So much so that Joel Salatin has written an entire book on exactly what you need to do in order to succeed at it.
One key thing to keep in mind is that some states allow on-farm poultry processing (up to a certain amount) and other states don’t. If your state doesn’t, you’ll have to find a poultry processor who can do this for you and that can definitely cut into your profits.
6. Fish farming
You can start a fish farm either by creating fish ponds or investing in fish tanks; it’s a highly scalable business idea. Once you have the proper knowledge of fish raising, you will be able to decide the type of fish to raise.
Fish such as tilapia, cod, Eel, Carp, Rainbow, and Silver Trout, and Catfish are very popular choices because they are quite easy to raise and are generally in high demand.
Fish farming is an ideal business idea for investors with available land, and it doesn’t always require a body of water.
7. Snail Farming
To farm snails, you’ll need to provide them with shelter, plants, and food. This can vary depending on your situation. Some farmers use outdoor pens that are open, others use netting to keep them in. I have also seen them grown commercially in polytunnels.
Below you can see a video of a woman who started small and has now built it into a profitable venture in Africa. As she says snails are the ideal livestock to have as they don’t smell or make noise.
Before investing in structures to house them, start small, and develop a market for them. Then, if you see the demand growing, expand by increasing the available housing for them.
8. Market Garden
Starting a market garden is a great option if you haven’t got hundreds of acres of land. Or if you only want farming to take up part of your time while you have another part-time job.
Market gardens typically focus on a wide range of different products, as opposed to large industrial farms that normally focus on growing a single crop (monoculture).
It’s a great way for people to return to a lifestyle that focuses more on living off the land without making the switch to being fully reliant on farming for an income.
9. Oyster Mushrooms
Oysters, in particular, can be grown just as fast as broiler chickens (eight to 12 weeks) and fetch a price of $10 to $18 per pound. It is admittedly not always easy to sell fresh oyster mushrooms, but they can be dried to be sold as a value-added item rather easily.
Although you do have to buy the first round of spawn, once your oyster logs or blocks are done producing, you can split the remaining substrate into new blocks. In other words, they are very easily propagated.
10. Farming Classes
You could start an online farming class that can be interactive. This is a very good option for older, experienced farmers who are looking for a retirement option.
Also, as a young farmer, if you are skilled and you have the ability to impart knowledge, you can also start your own tutorial online about farming.
However, this can be very profitable for farmers who don’t just want to work on the field, but have the passion to share their knowledge with the next generation of farmers.
11. Pastured Pork
Pastured pork is becoming even more popular because it’s much healthier than pork from pigs raised in confinement. \
Selling pastured pork can be another great way to make money farming. You will need more space to raise pastured pork than you do for chickens but less space than you will for raising cattle.
12. Raise Worms
Consider raising worms to sell as bait to fishing shops. The worms can be raised in tubs, bins, or barrels and you could be harvesting your crop in just 90 days.
But it isn’t just the worms that have value, since the soil left behind is full of worm casings and provides some of the richest sources of nutrients for your garden.
This could bring in a secondary income stream as compost for gardens. Not only is it an easy, low-maintenance way of earning more from your farm. It is also completely eco-friendly and as such opens your farm to another type of customer.