Ranching, dry and irrigated farming, mixed farming, single and multi-crop farming, diversified farming and specialized farming are all types of farming. Specialized farming can be further broken down into dairy farming, raising sheep or raising cattle.
Ranching is the practice of grazing animals on public lands and may also include raising livestock on public land. Ranching is commonly practiced in Australia, Tibet and in the hillier regions of India. Specialized farming that focuses on raising sheep, cattle or other animals, however, does not utilize public lands for grazing.
Single and multi-crop farming are types of specialized farming. Specialized farming can also refer to farms that only grow two to three crops in order to maximize profits. By producing their crops on a larger scale, the farmers are capable of bulk production. Specialized farming has some handicaps in that it is dependent upon a favorable market. Having only a few types of crops can backfire if the crops fail as well. In addition, specializing can have a negative impact on the soil.
Mixed farming refers to mixing enterprises on a single farm, such as a dairy farm that also raises livestock. It is a type of diversified farming that usually focuses on multiple crops or specialties that support one another. Diversified farming has the advantage of providing year-round labor, but too much diversification can lead to mismanagement and neglect of certain enterprises.