Farming Methods & Practices Used By Texas Farms

Agribusiness is an integral component of Texas’ economy. Since World War II, technological innovations such as advanced cultivation techniques, improved seed varieties and mechanization have significantly increased crop yields and acreage.

Some farmers in West Texas are turning to holistic practices such as no-till farming and rotational grazing to increase the health of their land, helping it better withstand drought conditions more easily.


Texas’ expansive and varied terrain makes for an abundance of agricultural crops; from citrus orchards in Rio Grande Valley, cotton plantations on High Plains, rice paddies along Coastal Prairie and timber harvesting in East Texas.

Texas agriculture has a long, rich history. Caddo and Pueblo tribes raised corn, beans and squash while early Spanish settlers introduced cattle, goats, sheep and hogs. Today’s farmers still practice sustainable farming techniques such as rotational grazing while forgoing chemical additives to the land.

As Texans know, weather and climate play a huge role in the success of their farms. From extreme heat, strong winds or drought conditions, to soil conditions, pests and diseases – weather has an enormous impact on crop production. Additionally, farmers need to contend with soil issues, pest control solutions and disease issues in order to maximize production.

Farm families throughout Texas face numerous difficulties when growing their crops. While Texas boasts plenty of fertile land, environmental or climatic factors can undermine profitability of operations.

Historically, farmers and ranchers relied on teams of oxen and horses to pull the ploughs used for cultivation. Modern agriculture emerged after World War II with advanced cultivation techniques, improved seed varieties, and mechanization.

Many farm families live in rural areas and depend on local markets for their goods, but in recent years some Texans have left rural farming for urban life; working as corporate executives or professional jobs while continuing farming and ranching on their own in more secluded locations.

Technological advances have allowed those who choose to remain, such as farmers and ranchers, to increase efficiency and produce higher yields which costs extra money but can be easily bought using extra cash earned thro’ New equipment like combines and grain dryers help producers harvest crops faster; similarly, improvements in fertilizer formulations and herbicides reduce labor costs and increase overall farm profitability.


Livestock farming refers to the cultivation of animals for use or profit, typically cattle. But livestock also includes species like hogs, sheep, goats, camels and horses as well as poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, squabs and guinea fowl) and game birds like pheasants, quail, pigeons and wild turkeys.

Livestock farming represents the bulk of Texas farm income. Recently, however, small-scale organic livestock farms have seen a resurgence as consumers become more conscious of health risks associated with industrial food production and prefer fresh, locally produced meat products.

Most farms are family businesses, with grandparents, parents and their offspring all sharing responsibility for running the operation. This helps foster an even deeper sense of stewardship for both land and community – not simply as an enterprise but as a way of life.

At the turn of the 20th century, Texas agriculture underwent a dramatic change. Electricity became available via rural cooperatives and improved roadways made rural areas more accessible, and lifestyles of farmers increasingly resembled those of their urban counterparts – country stores closed, milk cows left farmsteads, local schools were replaced with larger educational facilities that offered more programs than 4-H clubs or Future Farmers of America could.

Mechanization of agricultural practices was hastened by modern tractor technology and an abundance of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. By the 1980s, most farms were large commercial operations with diversified dry-land cropping operations as well as extensive irrigation acreage; their influence could be felt across areas like High Plains, Lower Rio Grande Valley, Coastal Prairies, Blackland Prairies.

Since climate change is of increasing concern, more farmers have turned to regenerative agriculture as a sustainable strategy. Regenerative practices help improve water retention and reduce erosion while sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and increasing soil health – an approach so effective that even Texas Farm Bureau lists sustainability and climate issues among its top policy priorities.

Farming Equipment

Farming requires more than just land: tools and equipment are also necessary. While what constitutes essential pieces of machinery may vary according to landscape, crops, or philosophy of farming; most farmers would agree on some essential pieces.

Planters provide precision rows for planting your crops with less back-breaking work compared to hand sowing, while combines simplify the harvest process faster and easier by acting as binder, header and thresher all at once – these machines became increasingly popular after World War II because of their ability to help farmers produce higher yields more rapidly.

Other farm equipment includes tractors, grain dryers, mowers and plows. Most farmers also rely on fertilizers and herbicides to assist crop production; these may be applied using tractor-mounted sprayers or added directly into irrigation water supplies. Herbicide use before, during or after growth can reduce weeds while saving labor costs.

Texas boasts an array of agricultural regions. The eastern part of the state features sandy soils with high crop production and expansive cattle ranches; in contrast, western Texas features grasslands regions dominated by many farmers raising beef and dairy cattle for slaughter; finally in its southern half are rich river bottoms perfect for growing fruits and vegetables.

Early settlers of California quickly established agriculture during its formative years, cultivating indigenous crops and domesticating livestock for food and wool production. After European settlement arrived with advanced cultivation techniques and capital available for investment, agriculture production increased considerably across the state. By 1900 commercial farming had evolved alongside new types of livestock and grain crops.

Texas continues to appreciate their farming heritage with pride and resilience. Farmers cite resilience, responsibility and humility as core values in their practices; while also facing obstacles such as droughts, disease outbreaks and climate changes.

Farming Methods

Texas agriculture is an integral component of its culture, from small family ranches in the Coastal Plains to expansive commercial operations throughout the state. Texas farmers employ both traditional methods and cutting-edge methods for cultivating crops and rearing livestock – adapting accordingly in accordance with climate conditions or topographies.

Long before European settlers settled Texas, Caddo and Pueblo tribes planted and cultivated corn, beans, squash and other vegetables for harvest. Once Texas became part of the United States territory, Anglo settlers set up cotton plantations and cattle ranches; after Texas joined as its own country again in 1845, cotton plantations and ranches were then established by Anglo settlers; today Texas farmers specialize in citrus fruits, vegetables cotton grain sorghum rice production as well as processing oil/gas and feeding livestock and poultry as part of their business operations.

Farming is an arduous profession that demands much from those involved, as Texas farmers pour their hearts and souls into cultivating land and producing food for us all to eat. But farming also comes with challenges that threaten income levels or even force businesses out of business altogether.

Farming remains a cornerstone of Texas economy despite all of these hurdles; agricultural cash receipts total nearly $12 billion each year and production contributes significantly across every region, from wheat fields on the High Plains to orange orchards in lower Rio Grande Valley and irrigated rice paddies in East Texas to grazing cattle in West Texas.

By the turn of the 20th century, technological, scientific, economic and political forces had created the conditions for larger commercial farms to dominate Iowa’s agricultural system. Modern machinery enabled farmers to cover more acreage with less labor; improved chemicals and seeds increased crop yields; livestock genetics led to healthier livestock; while smaller family farms found it economically impracticable to compete and left the business altogether.

As Colorado’s population expands, so too do demands on our natural resources. That’s why it is becoming ever more essential that farmers find ways to do more with less and be good stewards of the land – techniques like no-till farming and cover crops are effective tools that not only reduce soil disturbance but also foster biological activity which increases moisture availability to plants. Jesse Wieners of the Panhandle continues his work in this regard by practicing no-till farming and cover crop practices to conserve our precious water sources.