Ley farming is simply defined as the cultivation of food crops with pasture crops. When food crops are harvested, the field quickly reverts to pasture for grazing. In other words, ley farming is a system which involves the alternation of the production of crops and pasture. The food crop is grown and harvested, before the forage or pasture grass is grown for one or more years. For example, rice is planted first on the land and harvested after which pasture (grass) is grown, and allowed to stay for one or more years, before replanting the field with food crops again. The process continues in alternation as far as the farmer continues this system.
The field is referred to as ‘ley’ during the period it is under pasture grass. In this practice, the pasture grass is used to feed the animal, while the food crop provides food for the farmer.
Advantages of ley farming
- Careful planning of this system of farming is capable of improving the soil fertility.
- An ideal planning can maintain a high level of crops and animal production.
- The farmer uses the pasture grass to feed his animals and the food crops produced on the same piece of land, although at different times, also provide food for the farmer.
Disadvantage of ley farming
The system requires a lot of skills and technique to succeed.