Farms have a sprawling footprint that allows for agricultural efforts no other parts of the country could ever hope to host. No city would ever have hundreds of acres of grassland to spare for livestock to graze upon. Not even suburban locations have enough space for growing the amount of fruits and vegetables that farms in the American heartland produce. This land is a point of pride for farmers across the country and the tips below from Superior Farms are offered in the spirit of improving outcomes for all involved. That means a more efficient operation for the farmers and ranchers, more hay to serve as bedding for lambs, better products for consumers and a worthy addition to the local economy.
The family farm: The “family farm” in its traditional sense has likely been passed down generations and keeping it running takes effort — day in and day out. According to Agriculture.com, a 387-acre tract of farmland in Minnesota recently sold for $2.5 million, which translates to about $6,675 per acre. It’s no wonder then that the family farm receives so much attention and effort; it’s a worthy investment that can increase in value as operations continue. Superior Farms, for example, has had sustainability at the heart of its operations since 1964. Land that’s used as efficiently as possible pays dividends over decades and “sustainability” has become more than a buzzword. Efficiency can translate to profit, which can keep the operation up and running for 2020 and well beyond.
The hunt for hay: Any rancher will attest to the large number of essential acquisitions that keep the farm running. Hay might top that list due to its use as forage and bedding for livestock. This multi-purposed purchase must be acquired in bulk and properly stored until its ready to use. To make the hunt for hay as straightforward as possible, AllHay.com has rolled out a website that tells farmers everything they need to know. This can include hay type, size, number of bales available, fertilizer status and price per bale. Where the hay itself is located is prominently featured so that buyers and sellers can narrow the search down to listings that are close to home. Whether you’re looking to spend $100 per ton or $4 per bale, AllHay.com has the right amount for your farm.
To care for the flock: Ranchers have likely spent the majority of their lives learning how to care for animals on the farm. The list of daily duties differs between animal types, but Superior Farms is most familiar with lambs. Since lambs here are set to pasture and see a diet that’s primarily made up of natural vegetation, the quality of life is clear for all to see. According to The Atlantic magazine, “thoughtful consumers do not want animals to be needlessly hurt.” To the same end, ranchers want the animals they share the land with to be able to explore their surroundings. A cage-free approach should be top-of-the-list for farms looking to make friends with more consumers on the other end of the purchasing process.
Earth-friendly opportunities: Farms are part and parcel of Mother Earth so harnessing that inherent power can modernize processes while minimizing impact. At Superior Farms, for example, late 2019 saw the activation of a state-of-the-art solar panel system in California. Combined with an existing wind turbine, the farm could now confidently state that 95 percent of all energy requirements were “clean.”