The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The global economy is unstable, and many people are struggling with job loss and wage cuts and looking for ways to supplement their income. One of the most efficient ways of creating a secondary income is to use what you already have to produce a good or service. If you have land, you can begin making an income by farming or growing a cash crop at home.
What’s a Cash Crop?
A cash crop is anything you can grow and sell commercially. Think of things like corn, cotton, hay, soybeans, and sunflowers. These commodities are always in high demand because they are needed in the mass production of many everyday foods and are used by other farmers who depend on them to feed their livestock. You’ll want to research just how much room you will need to grow these crops and look into any FDA regulations regarding the use of pesticides and fertilizers if you plan on marketing your crop for consumption. Hay is an easy crop to produce, and in many rural towns in the North East, it is in high demand due to the less than favorable weather conditions. Whether or not you have the proper farming equipment will also play a role in how much of a crop you should intend to grow, you shouldn’t be growing 20 acres of hay without access to a combine or baler, or all your hard work will go to waste. First, start small and build a network of customers who need your product as your crop grows that way it sells before it has even been harvested.
Raising Livestock for Profit
Another intelligent investment can be raising livestock for profit. Everything from cattle to goats to ducks are valuable commodities right now. It doesn’t even take much room to begin a small hobby farm with a few income-producing animals. Chickens are always an easy starter animal, especially with their easy availability and affordable shelters to house them in. You can also raise free-range chickens that do not get cooped at night, but you do run the risk of losing a few from your flock. Chicks are readily available during the spring at most farm supply stores and feed mills. If you decide to start with chickens, it’s good practice to start with at least a dozen. Once mature, your laying chickens will produce eggs for not only your family but that you can sell as well. Raising chickens for meat consumption is also a profitable sector. You want to make sure to do your research into the animals you would like to raise and ensure you have the proper room and time to dedicate to raising them humanely and profiting from them ethically. Each animal has its individual needs that need to be met to ensure the work you put into them ends in profit for you.
There are countless ways to make money off the land you already own. Farming and raising livestock is one of the most sustainable ways to keep income flowing to you and your ground healthy and valuable. The market for organic and homegrown food is ever-expanding, with more and more people trying to make choices that positively impact our communities and environments. By choosing to become part of the movement towards sustainability and longevity, you decide to take your financial freedom into your own hands. The room for growth in the agricultural market is boundless for those willing to put in the time and effort to produce quality goods.