Regenerative agriculture is an approach to food and farming systems that regenerates topsoil and increases biodiversity now and long into the future. We can help farmers reduce input costs and increase productivity.
The growing Regenerative Agriculture movement has been emerging from a pooling and sharing of knowledge and principles by the leaders in the fields of; organic farming, permaculture, agroecology, agroforestry, restoration ecology, Keyline design, and Holistic Management.
In the 1980s, the Rodale Institute was the first organisation to begin using the term ‘Regenerative Agriculture’. Rodale Publishing formed the Regenerative Agriculture Association, and its founder Robert Rodale, is sums up the ethos in this quote;
“By marching forward under the banner of sustainability we are, in effect, continuing to hamper ourselves by not accepting a challenging enough goal. I am not against the word sustainable, rather I favor regenerative agriculture.”
Some of the Principles and Practices of regenerative agriculture include;
To build soil fertility
Think of managing ‘wholes’ not individual parts. Holism not reductionism.
Progressively improve all ecosystem processes. Water cycle, mineral cycle, community dynamics and energy flow.
Connect the farm to its larger agroecosystem and bioregion.
Create context-specific designs and make holistic decisions that consider the social, ecological and the economic.
Express the unique irreplaceable essence of each person, farm and place.
Make holistic decisions aimed at specific systems change and addressing the root cause of the problem rather than fixing symptoms.
Ensure and develop just and reciprocal relationships amongst all stakeholders
Design for non-linear, multi-capital reciprocity.
Continually grow and evolve individuals, farms, and communities to express their innate potential.
Continually evolve agro-ecological processes and cultures.
Agriculture shifts the world.
Individual Practices that would be considered regenerative:
- Properly Managed Livestock grazing (mob, holistic planned grazing, rotational grazing, rational grazing.)
- Animal integration into cropping systems.
- Keyline subsoiling.
- No-till cropping.
- Multi species cover crops.
- Pasture cropping/minimal tillage.
- Compost tea, properly aerated animal manures.
- Silvopasture and agroforestry.