If you are a rural town dweller, or live on a farm or off-grid, you already have an expanded set of survival skills. Your isolation along with these skills are the keys to your survival, but you still must expect the unexpected.
Here are five problems that you may not even give much thought but they still can cause a lot of troubles in turbulent times.
Farmers using modern farming methods can feed their livestock any number of things that might have been out of the question in the past. For example, today, alot of farmers think that it is safe to feed alfalfa to cattle because they also include a supplement in the feed. Without this supplement, cattle and other sensitive animals will suffer from stomach bloat and die. You have a big pile of these supplements for now, but you will run out of them. Therefore, be aware of the natural nutritional needs of all livestock in your care, and know exactly why you are giving various supplements to livestock. Make it a point to see if you can replace these supplements with something you can make on your own or find out how to eliminate them altogether. Adjust your farming methods now so that you no longer need antibiotics or other chemicals that won’t be available after a crisis hits. Your animals will be healthier, and your body won’t be absorbing all those chemicals and toxins through animal based meat, milk, and eggs.

If you do some research, you will find that many animal based industries are already having problems with lack of sufficient genetic variation. For example pedigree dogs and thoroughbred horses are rapidly becoming a point of scandal and derision because of the serious genetic defects that lead to disease and early death. ​  Now consider a situation where you have just one bull and 5 or 6 milk cows, and that the cows are from all different blood lines. Even though the bull may be different from them, within just a few generations the animals produced will be sicker and weaker. No matter whether you are raising chickens, cattle, goats, sheep, cats, dogs, horses, or other animals, make sure that you have enough genetic variation in both the males and females. While one gender may not be as valuable as the other in terms of producing meat or eggs, the genetic variance is truly far more important than the inconvenience of keeping a few extra animals for the sake of genetic diversity. 
This is also very important to consider when growing plants for food. Always use heirloom seeds, and try to get them from as many different places as possible. As long as the species and strain are the same, you can keep the plants strong and genetically viable from one generation to the next. The last thing you will want to do is be ten, or even twenty years into a survival scenario only to realize that major staple plants are less robust or becoming weaker despite proper care of the water and soil. Needless to say, you should also store away triple, or even quadruple the number of seeds that you plan to use during an active crisis scenario.
At the very least, if genetic viability proves to be a problem, you will still have some to start over with, and then look for resources in other locations. This may include studying wild plants in the local area and cultivating them on a larger scale if needed.
If you currently use hybrid seeds because they offer more disease resistant plants or other benefits, you may not be thinking about the long term consequences of hybridization. A hybrid is defined as a cross between two species that are close enough to produce viable offspring, however the offspring usually cannot produce a viable next generation. For example, if you have two fields of heirloom corn or plant two strains close together, hybridization will occur. From there, the next year’s crop may grow, however, the seeds for the third year may not even sprout let alone produce a mature plant.

When growing plants, be very careful about where you plant different strains as well as which pollinators can create hybrids without your knowing. This includes bees which can carry pollen for miles as well as the wind itself which can transmit pollen from one field to another.
If at all possible, only grow one strain of a plant per year. It is also very important to be aware of: wild plants from a related species that might provide pollen plants grown by other survivors in the area that may be of a different, but related strain


Together with soil erosion, loss of soil fertility is a huge problem and apt to get worse in a survival situation.
Many farmers today rely on a range of fertilizers to enhance the soil. While this may produce edible plants, the lack of micronutrients is showing up in poor health and increased risk for disease for consumers. Since you will be using the same soil over and over again to grow foods, this problem may cause serious health problems sooner than expected.
Take the time now to know how the soil on you farm differs from undisturbed land nearby. Make sure that you know how it differs in key nutrients that you expect to absorb from the foods.
If you find lacking nutrients, then look for ways to naturally recondition the soil in order to restore those nutrients.

Some options may include:
Expand the types of plants used on composting to include wild plants and leaves from surrounding areas
Find ways to add animal bones and other parts in order to create a natural fertilizer. For example, eggshells are an excellent soil conditioner that you can get from chickens being raised on the farm.

Research safe ways to compost human excrement. It should be noted that there is a good bit of controversy on this matter as human feces and urine carry diseases that have left your body. While animal excrement can also be very dangerous to your health, at least the pathogens are not already established and accustomed to the human immune system, and therefore readily able to evade it.


Many people think that as long as they live in a country setting, all they will have to do is go out into the woods and shoot a deer or some other animal for food. Aside from the fact that larger populations of people will easily cause animal depletion, there are some other problems with this idea:
Overhunting and over fishing can also occur when injured animals get away. Not only is the meat from them lost, the hunter will more than likely go out and shoot at one or more animals until they catch one.
If the person in question is not a very good hunter, this means dozens of animals may be knocked out of the gene pool and also made unavailable to people that need the food from these animals. As the gene pool of target species becomes less diverse, illness and fewer offspring will result.
Just take a look at the changes in deer spot patterns and white deer that signal pending collapse of a herd.
Unknown stresses from social collapse may impact vital species. Consider a situation where you are in a rural area that is surrounded by mines or factories. Even though they may appear far enough away to prevent damage to the land in your area, they can still pose a hazard during a collapse.
In particular, waste from factories and mines can be carried for hundreds of miles down a river, or seep into the air and soil via other means. Once these toxins get into the deer, rabbits, and other animals of interest, these animals will die off and leave you with very few, if any to hunt.
In order to mitigate these problems, you must always be aware of how many animals are being taken from the land for food as well as make sure you know how many got away and were never found.
It is very important to keep security patrols going through hunt areas so that you can stop strangers and prevent them from interfering with the wild herds you depend on.
You should also have longer ranging scouts take periodic trips to factories, rivers, and other water features that may impact your local area.
At the very least, if you know that a mine or factory has released a dangerous toxin, you may just have enough time to drive animal herds to another area where they can continue to live and reproduce.
Friends I hope you consider these things when you make your rural survival plans. Remember just because you live in the country doesn't mean you won't be affected when the SHTF happens. Stay safe friends and God bless.