عنوان مقاله [English]
Integration of animal in crop production systems has a long history in the course of agricultural evolution. In this context, domestication of sheep and goat in Iran coincided with the beginning of rain fed cropping in dry areas in the Near East, hence animal husbandry and crop production were evolved simultaneously in the dry areas in an integrative manner. Inevitably, conflict of interest was raised due to forage shortage for the herders and cultivation land for the farmers. On the other hand, this conflict never stopped the cooperation between them based on mutual interests rooted in integration of animal and crop which is termed integrative agriculture. Crop residue which is the main component of integration was left to the nomad herders in exchange of animal products and manure on a national scale. On farm scale, different combination of activities such as rearing animal with forage production, utilization of crop and orchard residue and grazing the animal in rangeland was practiced and still is continued. Diverse crop residue is still used in the country due to high biodiversity of crops with a large amount produced annually, almost all of which is fed to animals. However, with the needs for the amendment of low organic content of the soils, expansion of conservation agriculture, paper industry and biofuel needs, there will be competition for crop residues in the future. Old generation of farmers associated with this system are retiring and the new generation is not much eager to work on the land and/or with animal. On this base, proper technology should be provided to these young people in order to encourage them to remain in the rural areas. Meanwhile, a new look into the integration process in small holding farming system is needed based on the emergence of new technologies.