Importance of Farm Buildings and Structures in Farming Enterprise

Farm buildings and structures are built on the farm site for the smooth running of farm operations. The types of buildings or structures vary, depending on the conditions on the farm.  They may be temporary or permanent.  They may be built of wood using logs or poles or of various grades of cement mixtures from concrete or ceramic tiles or stone. Grass, straw and palm fronds are other materials used on the farm for building or putting up structures. 

Read: Factors to Consider for Proper Farms Buildings and Structures 

In this article, you are going to learn the various farm buildings and structures, and their importance in farm business enterprise. 

Farm Buildings

Farm buildings help to shelter animals from bad weather conditions and from theft. It is easy to take proper care of animals when they are kept inside,  and the use of farm buildings help to ensure clean production of farm produce like egg, fruit and vegetables along with expensive equipment and materials. Some of the farm buildings can be used as offices and engine rooms at well. 

Shelter and housing for livestock, as well as storage facilities are important items in farm enterprise. The accommodation offered by the farm buildings will influence the system of farming for certain reasons. Firstly, it controls the quality and types of livestock which the farm can carry. An example of this is the keeping of dairy cattle which is determined by the presence or absence of a milking shed. Also the problem concerning the number of cattle which can be kept in during the period of wet weather is of course dictated by the capacity of the buildings  on the farm. 

Again, the extent to which machinery can be employed largely dependent upon the accommodation available on the farm because modern machinery and equipment need protection from the weather when not in use. 

Types of Farm Buildings and Their Importance 

1. Animal and plant nurseries

Sometimes young animals or plants may need to be nursed under special conditions before exposing them to natural competition.

2. Shelters

Barns for cows

Sheds for sheep and goats

Sties for pigs

Stables for horses

Hutches for rabbits and poultry 

Garages for farm machinery 

Alt: = "Poultry pen showing chicken"
Deep litter poultry house 

3. Special shelters

Special shelters make it possible to obtain the products of which the animals were raised easily and hygienically.

4. Administrative block

A farm enterprise requires office work like record keeping, accounting, marketing. Farming business can’t run efficiently and successfully without records and some degree of paperwork. 

5. Staff quarters

Staff quarters is a farmhouse for labourers and farmer’s family. No serous farm businessman will live far distance from his animals and crops. Having farmhouse enhances productivity, effective use of farm labour, and provides comfort for the staff. 

Farm Structures and Their Importance 

Farm structures are those constructions that are needed to make work easier and more efficient.

1. Silos

Silos are circular or rectangular structures usually made of stainless steel used to store food grains and sometimes silage. Average silo has a very large capacity that can carry at least one hundred tons of grain. Large quantities of food grains, silage can be stored in silo for long period of time. There are partitions through which materials can be put and taken out. It serves as reservoir. It helps to keep farm produce from waste and spoilage before marketing. Having silos help the farmer to maximize profits by storing his produce when the prices are low and sell when the prices go up. 

Alt: = " photo of silos"

2. Abattoir

It’s a special structure constructed for slaughtering of farm animals like, cattle, goats, sheep etc for beef production. 

3. Water Supply

An adequate water supply is very important on a farm. Water tanks may be employed when irrigation facilities are in some way inadequate. A livestock farm may be handicapped due to absence of drinking water on the farm. Certain crops like vegetables, fruits, root crops and potatoes can’t be grown to any great extent on the farm where there is insufficient water supply. 

4. Irrigation canals 

These canals are very important in areas with low rainfall distribution and are useful during the dry season, especially where the amount of rainfall is not enough to meet the water requirements of the crops during the growing season. 

The irrigation canals carry the water from a reservoir to the crops. There are water pumps which are connected to the dam at the reservoir. The pumps suck the water from the dam through the tubes and force it into the irrigation canals which then makes it available to the growing crops. Irrigation enhances all-year-round production of crops.

5. Drainage canals 

Drainage canals are gutter-like structures for conducting surplus water away from the farms to a central pool. This pool of water may be connected to a flowing river or used as irrigation for uncultivated farmland.  Drainage canals are generally constructed in a water-logged areas. 

6. Processing structures

Smoking house for fish or meat, drying barn, shelling or hulling barns, feed mills, threshing floor. 

7. Farmyard manure pits

They are holes dug in the soil. Plant residues and animal dungs are thrown in to the hole for the purpose of decomposition before they are used as manure for crops in the farm. Such structure is very important in mixed farming system. 

8. Animals dips

They are usually made by concrete bath lacing sunk into the ground. When in use, they are filled with water and disinfectant or insecticide. When animals pass through them their coats is soaked to kill ecloparasites like lice, ticks, and fleas. They are suitable for cattle, goat sheep, horses and donkeys. 

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Ikechukwu Evegbu

Ikechukwu Evegbu is a graduate of Statistics with over 10 years experience as Data Analyst. Worked with Nigeria's Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. A prolific business development content writer. He's the Editor, Business Compiler

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