Agricultural Alternatives

The goal of the Agricultural Alternatives series is to help you evaluate all aspects of a given enterprise before you commit your time and money. Whether you are a full-time farmer looking to diversify or a part-time farmer looking to generate additional income from your property, there are many important issues to consider when selecting a new enterprise.

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Beef Cattle in feedlot
Feeding Beef Cattle - Articles Articles

Feeding Beef Cattle

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Beef cattle feeding is possible on small and part-time farms, but the cost of feeding drops significantly as the size of the operation increases. More
Financing Small-Scale and Part-Time Farms
Financing Small-Scale and Part-Time Farms - Articles Articles
With newcomers to farming in mind, this article explores the available options for planning and financing a small-scale or part-time enterprise. More
Starting or Diversifying an Agricultural Business
Starting or Diversifying an Agricultural Business - Articles Articles
Small-scale farming can be a very satisfying lifestyle, but to be financially successful you also need to view your operation as a business. More
Flower Production
Cut Flower Production - Articles Articles

Cut Flower Production

Thomas Ford, Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

The specialty cut-flower business may fit well into a small-scale and part-time farming operation. More
Beef cattle
Beef Background Production - Articles Articles

Beef Background Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

Backgrounding is a beef production system that involves maximal use of pasture and forages from the time calves are weaned until they are placed in a feedlot. More
Producción de Brócoli
Producción de Brócoli - Articles Articles

Producción de Brócoli

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

El brócoli es un cultivo que se presta bien a las operaciones agrícolas de pequeña escala y de tiempo parcial. More
Pumpkins
Pumpkin Production - Articles Articles

Pumpkin Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Pumpkins are well-suited to small-scale and part-time farming operations. Marketing opportunities, such as wholesale, retail, and pick-your-own, are options. More
Watermelon
Watermelon Production - Articles Articles

Watermelon Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

There are multiple markets for growers with 5 acres or fewer. Many field operations - such as land preparation, planting, and harvesting - can be custom-hired. More
Bedded white-tailed deer
White-tailed Deer Production - Articles Articles
White-tailed deer farming has become an established and growing industry over the past two decades. More
Red Deer
Red Deer Production - Articles Articles

Red Deer Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

Potential producers should understand that they will need to be very active in marketing their product and be aware of the special handling requirements involved with deer. More
Tomatoes on the Vine
Tomato Production - Articles Articles

Tomato Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Many marketing opportunities are available for small-scale growers with multiple fruit colors and heirloom varieties, making it easier for growers to find niche markets. More
Potatoes
Potato Production - Articles Articles

Potato Production

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

With many varieties and high consumer consumption, potatoes fit well with many small growers and can be marketed through various outlets. More
Beef calf
Beef Cow-Calf Production - Articles Articles

Beef Cow-Calf Production

H. Louis Moore, Ph.D., Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

The beef cow-calf business is well adapted to small-scale and part-time farmers who have land suitable for pasture and hay production. More
Cucumber
Cucumber Production - Articles Articles

Cucumber Production

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Multiple markets exist for growers with fewer than 5 acres, and many field operations, such as land preparation, planting, and harvesting, can be custom hired. More
Organic Vegetable Production
Organic Vegetable Production - Articles Articles

Organic Vegetable Production

Elsa Sanchez, Ph.D., Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

Certification and labor costs are high but returns have the potential to be high where markets are well developed for organic products. More