Official 35 Task 3

Integrated Farming

Many farmers keep animals and raise crops at the same time. While some farmers treat the cultivation of their animals and plants as two separate activities, others integrate the two so that they work together. This is called integrated farming. Integrated farming uses the natural behavior of animals in a way that helps to keep both animals and crops healthy and thriving. By integrating a particular animal with a specific crop, farmers create a system in which both animals and plants provide for each others’ needs.

Narrator: Now listen to part of a lecture from an Environmental science class.
Professor: OK, so an example of this is when chickens are used to prepare a field for planting.
Farmers who do this have a special kind of little house that they keep their chickens in.
This little house has four walls and a roof,
but it doesn't have any floor.
And it has wheels attached to it,
so it can easily be moved from one location to another.
So, farmers move this little house to a field where something is going to be planted,
say bean plants, and then the chickens are placed inside the house.
Now remember there's no floor in this house,
and what the chickens do is they walk around inside the house and peck at the soil,
and eat any weeds or wild plants that they find.
And then when the chickens are done eating the weeds in that location,
the farmers move the house to the next section of the field.
And again the chickens peck at the soil and eat the weeds.
So the chickens get to eat lots of weeds, which are good for them.
Now this activity is also good for the bean plants that'll be growing in the field.
Because when the chickens eat the weeds,
they're improving the quality of the soil.
Thanks to the chickens, when the bean plants start to grow,
there won't be any weeds there to compete with them for crucial resources, like sunlight and water.
Explain how the example from the lecture illustrates the concept of integrated farming.