All life depends on the soil. There can be no life without soil; likewise, there can’t be soil without life. As newly published studies highlight the importance and benefit of soil health, topics such as regenerative farming have gained credibility and support throughout the scientific community. Once mistaken as a system specific to the interests of only niche farmers, this agricultural model has been making major headway into the farming industry thanks to the benefits it poses.
This article highlights a few benefits to help people understand what makes this model so popular.
But before delving any further, it is important to understand what regenerative agriculture is.
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture is a farming method that lays great importance on the regeneration of topsoil. This method allows farmers to improve water retention, regenerate topsoil, maintain crop yield, support biosequestration and ultimately improve profitability.
The core of this method lies in improving the soil’s health. This method heals the health of damaged soil using modern practices like composting, lowering tillage, recycling waste and other similar practices.
Benefits of Regenerative Agriculture
Regenerative Agriculture Improves Soil Health
Regardless of the different processes adopted to put regenerative agriculture into practice, all types focus only on improving the health of the soil. The absence of tilling aids soil preservation and encourages water to infiltrate the soil. It also restores the soil biodiversity and rebuilds the soil’s organic matter. Hence these practices can go a long way in optimising crop health organically.
Maintaining Crop Yields
Directly or indirectly, most benefits of regenerative farming lead to optimising the agricultural yield. This practice reduces the risks involved in yield loss thanks to the stressors, conditioning of the soil and rebuilding the soil ecosystem. These practices can go a long way in increasing crop yield and quality.
Growing Resilient Crops
According to studies conducted by the Rodale Institute, crop yields from inculcating organic systems tend to develop greater resistance to extreme weather. In the Farming System Trial, the yields from organic practices were consistently higher in drought years. Corn, for instance, yielded 28-34% more using such techniques than conventional means. This benefit could also be a byproduct of the betterment of soil biodiversity, thanks to safe and organic systems. Farmers can naturally suppress and displace diseases by ensuring their soil is healthy and buzzing with soil microbes by imbibing such practices.
Various studies have shown that switching to regenerative agriculture could yield better farmer profits. Farmland LP, a corporation investing in regenerative and organic farming, noted that they had witnessed a 40-50% increase in gross margins on wine grapes and improvements in commodity crops. Many researchers have also found that corn grown using these practices found corn to have grown profits by more than 78% than usual. Some studies have highlighted how regenerative agriculture could help farmers develop economic resilience and reduce their dependence on expensive chemicals.
Aids in Battling Climate Change
In a published paper called “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change,” the Rodale Institute notes that more than 100% of the current annual carbon dioxide emissions can be sequestered by switching to inexpensive and widely available organic management practices. Carbon sequestration is a process in which the atmosphere in water bodies, plants and soils capture carbon from the atmosphere and help fight global warming and climate change.
Thanks to constantly evolving consumer trends and the demand for safer and more sustainable practices in all aspects of daily life and agriculture, more specifically, practices like regenerative farming have witnessed tremendous adoption and support. Not only does it fix the soil health, but it also brings more profits to the people adopting the practices while saving the environment.