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Regenerative Agriculture: All You Need To Know!

We get our food from regenerative agriculture, but it is one of the main sources of environmental pollution. It is responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. We are talking about nitrous oxide and methane from the soil, as well as emissions associated with the production, storage, and transportation of food. Deforestation to increase acreage also contributes to climate change.

The Basic Concept of Regenerative Farming 

Regenerative farming is an approach to agricultural activities that omits the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Its goal is to restore the health of the soil and ocean, increase biodiversity, and make better use of water and other resources. Well, maintaining a healthy eating culture at the same time is equally important. 

You must know that restorative farming became widespread in the United States in the 1950s. The term itself was coined by Robert Rodale, a scientist and popularizer of organic agriculture in the United States. Robert’s father, Jerome Rodale, was the first to use the term “organic” to refer to food. He developed and scientifically justified methods that make it possible to use natural factors — the sun, water, air and the properties of plants themselves-so efficiently that it became possible to almost completely abandon chemicals, fertilizers and water for irrigation.

In 1947, J. R. R. Tolkien Rodale founded in Pennsylvania The Rodale Institute, which still teaches farmers and gardeners the basics of organic farming.

The basic principles of regenerative farming include the following

  • Refusal to loosen the soil. Plowing releases carbon from the ground, which is necessary for its fertility. Loosening violates the integrity of the soil and leads to a drop in yields.
  • Refusal of long-term sowing of the soil with monocultures, as this leads to its depletion. Instead, it is suggested to plant new plants every season.
  • Refusal of chemical fertilizers and their replacement with compost obtained as a result of decomposition of organic waste of plant or animal origin.
  • Avoiding pesticides and chemicals. Extracts of many plants, kaolin clay, tobacco, garlic and much more can be used as natural pesticides. A decoction of green pepper, for example, is an excellent remedy for the Colorado potato beetle and tobacco mosaic virus.

The non-profit organization Regeneration International claims that switching just 10-20% of the world’s agricultural production to a regenerative system will isolate enough carbon dioxide to reverse climate change.

The concept of regenerative agriculture extends beyond land. So, its adherents grow seaweed and shellfish. These lower ocean plants and animals do not require maintenance, but they improve water quality and create a habitat for other species.

The fact is that the ocean absorbs about 40% of the carbon that we release into the atmosphere. Because of this, the oxidation of seawater occurs. Scientists have found that some algae are able to effectively absorb carbon dioxide and thereby maintain the health of the ocean.

How does regenerative agriculture work?

  • Tillage: 

Standard cultivation means contribute to soil erosion and release large amounts of CO2. Although tillage is harmful to soil micro-organisms, low-or zero-till farming methods minimize soil disturbance, thereby increasing the level of healthy organic matter.

  • Crop rotation and plant diversity

Planting different crops supports different microbes, returning a wider range of nutrients to the soil. As a result, the soil becomes healthier and more stable. Planting the same crop in one place is an unhealthy use of the soil.

  • Use of cover crops and compost: 

Under the influence of the elements, the exposed topsoil is eroded, and nutrients are washed away or dried out. Cover crops and the use of compost and other organic materials prevent erosion, retain moisture and saturate the soil with organic substances.

  • Improved grazing practices:

Regenerative agriculture involves eliminating unhealthy practices such as large feedlots that contribute to water pollution, methane and CO2 emissions, and increased use of antibiotics and other chemicals.

All types of agriculture capture carbon from the air through photosynthesis. But regenerative agriculture ensures that more carbon is stored than released, and keeps the absorbed carbon underground. This effectively reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases the amount of soil carbon available for healthy crops.

In agriculture, there is great potential for cover crops and crop rotation to provide favorable results for the climate and beyond. In modern industrial agriculture, land is often sown in a single crop from year to year and / or cultivated and left bare (fallow) for long periods of time (so-called monocultures). 

Regenerative agriculture, on the other hand, includes the wisdom of including both diverse cover crops and crop rotations. Cover crop production – the cultivation of useful plants during dormant periods or in combination with the main crop – significantly reduces soil erosion and agricultural runoff as a result of heavy rains or irrigation.

In light of the growing population that needs to be fed, the agricultural sector is being forced to find ways to produce food more sustainably. At the same time, arable land is becoming less and less as we become more and more degraded and the population is constantly growing. Consequently, there is a need to increase food production and combine it with environmental improvements.

We believe that agroforestry can meet this need. It can produce more food, storeCO2, increase biodiversity, and restore degraded land. At the same time, it does not reduce the farmer’s income (it can even increase it), but it supports rural families and creates more favorable living conditions for people and animals. Agroforestry contributes to the achievement of nine of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

How long does it take to get it?

Regenerative Agriculture certification by the USDA can take up to 12 weeks after application and collection.

We must learn to work with nature, not against it. In everything we do. The revival of nature is one of the advantages of the catastrophic Covid-19 crisis. The atmosphere and water cleared, the land calmed down, and the birds, fish, and animals returned. When we took our foot off nature’s neck, she reacted with renewed vigor and resilience. But we gave nature only a temporary respite while the isolation lasted.

The revival of nature is one of the advantages of the catastrophic Covid-19 crisis. The atmosphere and water cleared, the land calmed down, and the birds, fish, and animals returned. When we took our foot off nature’s neck, she reacted with renewed vigor and resilience. But we gave nature only a temporary respite while the isolation lasted.

Informing the future through regenerative agriculture

Speed is another surprise of the virus, frightening and inspiring. It is spreading at an astonishing rate among people. It is harmless to bats, but deadly to some of the people it attacks. However, people reacted quickly, individually and collectively, magnificently and horribly. One way or another, humanity is experiencing this crisis.

We could ignore these lessons of nature and speed. We could continue to do what we did before the virus hit. If so, nature will respond even faster to the destructive pressures that we humans are putting on it. The climate catastrophe, the extinction of species, the destruction of ecosystems, and the degradation of air, water, and soil will all accelerate at an alarming rate. With each species we destroy, we break another thread in the web of life.

We could apply these lessons to our relationship with the planet. If we did, we would help nature restore the living systems on which human life depends entirely. We could make our cities healthier and more productive in terms of people and nature. Ways to do this include traveling less, relying more on virtual connectivity and walking, cycling, and public transportation, restoring our urban rivers and coastal waters, and bringing more nature back into our urban environment to help us feed ourselves and restore our urban ecosystems.

Conclusion 

Regenerative agriculture stands out from the crowd because farmers and ranchers strive to achieve a common goal- to reduce greenhouse emissions and restore the natural productivity & fertility of soil. 

Given the development of technology and the growth of production and demand around the world, agriculture has begun to create processes that use elements that destroy the soil. In this case, not only the volume of production is lost, but also resources. Water and soil are mainly affected by modern agriculture. The loss of soil fertility, mainly due to a decrease in the microbiological presence of minerals and organic substances, affects agricultural productivity. This makes regenerative agriculture increasingly important for returning these dynamic components to the soil. 

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