Use your marginal areas to plant perennials—along ditches and streams, on steeper slopes and in poorer soils. Possible plantings could include trees (native, orchard, ornamentals), grapes, hazelnuts, pasture, energy crops, and prairie—to name a few.
Increase water storage on your land—and slow its run to rivers and ditches—by planting perennial grasses, trees, and shrubs. Leave low areas as seasonally drained wetlands or restore a wetland.
Learn about third crops and their markets, then experiment with a few.
Find out about controlled drainage systems, then experiment with different configurations.
Minimize herbicide use by rotating crops and by using conservation tillagemethods best suited to your soils and terrain.
Use cover crops to minimize erosion and reduce nitrogen inputs.
Support other farmers and small businesses doing these things.