Updated: Mar 6
What is at the Core of Regenerative Farming?
Regenerative agriculture is a holistic farming approach that focuses on rebuilding and regenerating soil health through natural methods. Unlike traditional farming methods, which often rely on synthetic chemicals and tillage, regenerative agriculture emphasizes the use of cover crops, composting, and other natural techniques to improve soil fertility. High biodiversity in soil microorganisms means the plant's needs are sustained by the soil. This reduces the need for synthetic products to be applied so that the crop can be harvested. Allowing the soil to perform functions of pest and disease suppression, nutrient cycling and managing plant health means far less money spent on each crop.
Grow your profit margins Regeneratively
One of the key benefits of regenerative agriculture is that it can significantly reduce costs for farmers. By improving soil health, farmers can reduce their need for synthetic fertilizers and other inputs, leading to lower costs and higher profits. Additionally, regenerative farming methods can improve crop yields, further increasing profits. The advantages continue when you consider Organic Certification options which are aligned with Regenerative Farming. Each crop you harvest costs you less to produce and can be sold at a higher price when compared to the conventionally grown equivalent. Transitioning of a conventional farm into a regenerative farm can take time along with increased short-term expenses. However, a more sustainable and profitable future is the result of taking the steps to achieve Regenerative farming.
Partnering with Nature
Another important benefit of regenerative agriculture is that it creates more sustainable farming practices. By promoting biodiversity and soil health, regenerative farming can help to reduce carbon emissions, improve water quality, and protect against soil erosion. Additionally, regenerative farming focuses on promoting the growth of beneficial microorganisms, which can help to control pests and diseases. Given the right conditions, beneficial microorganisms will outcompete the non-beneficial organisms. Without a foothold in which to grow, pests and diseases will not be able to take advantage of your crop, this is how regenerative farming focuses on partnering with nature. From fertilisation, pest control, and disease management to soil preparation there is a Regenerative farming solution that replaces the conventional practice.
Sequester Carbon by building soil structure
One of the most critical benefits of regenerative agriculture is its ability to sequester carbon and improve soil health. Through tillage and over-fertilisation conventional agriculture has released a huge quantity of CO2 into the atmosphere. Regenerative farming focuses on storing carbon in the ground and protecting it once it is there, by reducing tillage and incorporating the use of cover crops. This can help to mitigate the effects of climate change. These practices result in improved soil structure as the soil is not disturbed as often through tillage. This improves the resilience of farms to weather-related events such as droughts, floods and heavy erosion because the soil captures the water. With improved soil structure water infiltrates faster and remains in the ground longer which is key to mitigating the effects of weather-related events.
Integration of livestock is a key aspect of converting land to Regenerative farming. Livestock is a fundamental part of the nutrient cycling system as they accelerate the process of improving the soil. When sunlight energy is converted into carbohydrates by plants it is the animals which break down that organic matter into a form that promotes soil microbial activity. As livestock consume the plants they digest the material, inoculate it with their own gut microbiome, spread it across the field and trample it into the ground over time. If livestock is not an option where you are considering using their manure to make compost which will replicate their benefit in your garden or small space.
Improved crop nutrient density
Organically grown crops have been shown to have far higher nutrient value than the conventional equivalent. The soil quality plays a massive role in this but gram for gram nutrient value of organically grown crops is higher. This means the person eating the food is getting the better nutritional value from their food when compared to synthetically grown foods. Regenerative Farming at its core is about soil health which creates crops packed with all the nutrients and fibre needed to support the person consuming that food. Many human health conditions are liked to poor nutrition, low food quality and food insecurity which can be addressed with Regenerative Farming.
The compounding effect of Regenerative Farming
It is important to note that regenerative farming practices can require a significant investment of time and money in the short term, but the long-term benefits will outweigh the costs. This is not just beneficial for the farmers but for the entire society. In conclusion, regenerative agriculture is a sustainable and profitable farming approach that can help farmers reduce costs, increase profits, and promote sustainable farming practices. By focusing on soil health and biodiversity, regenerative agriculture can help to promote a more sustainable and resilient food system.
If you want to learn more about Regenerative Farming my E-Book, a Guide to Living Soil and Composting is packed with detailed information about a range of topics related to soil, microbes and composting.