Brad & Rochelle Krusemark of Trimont, Minnesota raise both plants and animals on the farm that has been in their family since 1921. They raise corn, soybeans, pigs, and beef cattle. That way they have four different products to sell. It costs a lot of money to buy land, seed, fertilizer, machinery, buildings, and crop protection products. How much they earn on each product can vary from year to year. If a year comes when soybean prices are lower than usual, that can be hard for farmers who grow only soybeans. By raising different plants and animals, the risk can be lowered.
There are different challenges for plants and animals. Farmers who grow plants depend on weather conditions every week. Plants need rain and sunshine to grow. But too much heat will cause severe drought that can cause plants to die. Too much or too little rain will make the plants sick or weak.