Farm-generated fertility makes agriculture more sustainable. Crop residues and manures are part of the nutrient cycle and can lower input costs through the use of thermophilic composting, vermiculture, bokashi production, or green manures. Farm-generated feeds can also reduce expenses, if farmers manage and utilize the resources already available to them. For, example, farmers might develop pasture using planned grazing for cattle; make hog feed from crop residue and by-products (such as whey and skim milk); cultivate legume shrubs for cut-and-carry operations for goats; and grow floating ferns and other water crops for fish and poultry.
As densities of livestock increase, the industrious farmer finds ways and means to increase his farm nutrient stream for the benefit of his system. This article will examine the methods and techniques necessary for the smallholder farmer to succeed with farm-derived fish feeds. A farmer should first fully exploit his extensive (and more passive) existing systems, and then consider intensifying his overall operation.