In recent years, standard land usage and industrial, agricultural practices have resulted in a decline in land suitable for food production. These techniques degrade soil fertility rather than providing nutrient-rich soil.
Significantly, growing population and climate-related shocks threaten agricultural production due to ongoing land subdivisions and soil degradation caused by overgrazing, erosion, over-cropping, and inefficient farming methods.
However, a system of agricultural principles known as regenerative farming is one potential strategy to offset the detrimental impacts of industrial agriculture. Regenerative agricultural approaches incorporate farming practices that improve soil health.
This article will explain regenerative agriculture and five reasons you should switch to it. Read on.
What Is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture (RA) is a sustainable farming method that nurtures and restores soil health and protects climate, water resources, and biodiversity while increasing farm productivity and profitability.
It consists of strategies supported by cutting-edge technology that can address the difficulties posed by climate change by restoring soil health and maintaining the land’s ecosystem.
Notably, regenerative agriculture is an extension of traditional agriculture that uses less water and other inputs while preventing land degradation and deforestation. It safeguards and improves soil, biodiversity, climate resilience, and water resources while increasing agricultural productivity and profitability.
Reasons Why You Should Switch to Regenerative Farming
1. Reduces The Toxic Load In Food
When weeds are reduced by farmers utilizing regenerative agricultural strategies such as not tilling and allowing cattle to graze, herbicides use are reduced. Also, when chickens are given full reign in the garden to eat slugs and parasites, the use of insecticides is reduced or eliminated.
Notably, we also eliminate hazardous chemical fertilizers when we utilize natural manure and compost.
2. Makes a Healthier Environment to Live in
Fewer pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides also contribute to a healthier environment. Chemicals commonly employed in conventional farming are neurotoxins and carcinogens.
Pesticide and fertilizer runoff also contribute to global pollution. Farm pesticides get up in our lakes, streams, and drinking and showering water. They also pollute the air we breathe.
Using regenerative agriculture helps to keep chemical toxins out of our water and air.
3. Reduced Costs
Using regenerative farming methods eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers because the soil is healthy and refills itself.
Furthermore, because the farm is a more robust ecosystem that can sustain disturbances from invasive or competing species, you won’t need to invest in costly herbicides and insecticides.
4. Helps Reverse Climate Change
A Quantis study found that shifting only 20-25% of agricultural land to regenerative methods might reverse climate change. All that is required is a shift from industrial agriculture and its use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
Farming techniques such as tilling and deforestation emit significant carbon into the atmosphere. However, healthy plants sequester carbon in the soil where it is needed. This small deed can help reduce climate change.
5. Promotes Thriving Wildlife
The goal of regenerative agriculture is to improve the land while growing food. Rather than simply taking from it, we are improving the soil, promoting life, and providing a diverse home for species. Everything works together to offer abundant pure, healthy food for everyone’s well-being.
Significantly, after the land has been harvested, you can even let wildlife feed on it. Grazing animals improve nitrogen fixation in the soil and contribute to the natural nutrient cycle.
Regenerative Farming Practices
The following regenerative agricultural approaches aim to improve the health of our ecosystem by boosting soil fertility, biodiversity, water retention and cleanliness, and soil carbon sequestration.
1. Rotational Farming and Cover Crops
Crop rotation and cover crops are two fundamental elements of sustainable agriculture contributing to increased biodiversity. To conserve the soil, farmers grow cover crops with no intention of harvesting them. Notably, the soil is subject to weather erosion without cover crops, causing valuable nutrients to dry and wash away or blow away.
Farmers should also rotate crops by cultivating a different crop in the same site each growing season. This guarantees that nitrogen-fixing plants, such as legumes, may contribute nutrients to the soil, which other plants can consume.
2. Reduce The Use of Artificial Fertilizers
Because synthetic fertilizer disrupts the natural methods through which plants acquire nutrients by altering the balance of soil bacteria, it is not suited for regenerative systems.
Furthermore, the detrimental impacts of chemicals seeping into water supplies and the atmosphere exacerbate the climate catastrophe. A regenerative farming system, in general, seeks to retain a perfectly natural relationship between plants and soil organisms.
3. Eliminate Or Decrease Tillage
Reducing tilling is one of the most regenerative methods for improving soil health, which is one of the main objectives of regenerative agriculture. Tilling promotes soil erosion while emitting significant carbon dioxide volumes into the atmosphere.
Tillage reduction enhances carbon sequestration (the process by which plants transport carbon from the atmosphere into the soil) and helps to prevent global warming.
4. Encourage Mulching
Mulching has been shown to improve soil health by reducing evaporation, increasing moisture retention, regulating temperature, increasing nutrient availability and root absorption, suppressing weeds, decreasing salinity, encouraging biological activity, and controlling crop pests and diseases, according to Research Gate.
Organic plant mulches such as cowpea, brachia grass, and leguminous are recommended for farmers. Organic mulches can be used for non-living materials—rice, wheat straw, and palm. Animal waste from poultry, pig, goat, horse, and cow dung can also be used.
In recent years, regenerative agriculture has gained popularity among policymakers, food producers, and farmers.
Advocates assert that reducing climate change, increasing farmer profits, and improving resistance to climate change all result in a triple win. We believe regenerative agricultural approaches can enhance soil health and food production.