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Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principles and practices that enhance biodiversity, soil enrichment, improve watersheds and the general ecosystem at large.
Currently, farming communities strive towards sustainable farming that could be pursued by regenerative agriculture techniques.
Regenerative agriculture further aims at reversing global climatic changes through capturing carbon beneath the soil and above in a process known as “soil carbon sequestration”.
Soil carbon sequestration is a process in which carbon dioxide is eliminated from the atmosphere and stored in the soil through the primary process of photosynthesis.
Studies have shown that this directly improves the overall quality of soil humus and yield of grass and crops, which are an essential component to all farming communities around the world.
Regenerative agriculture is a recently practiced trend and can be summarized in the triple ‘C’ components.
Triple ‘C’ system comprises of composting, crop rotation and controlled grazing.
The driving idea behind compost preparation is to increase the soil health.
Composting is a quite ideal and easy way of rebooting the soil through efficient nutrient recycling that enhances good root development (grass or cereal crops).
Soil microorganisms facilitate the breakdown of these materials (grass or cereal residues) and incorporate it into the soil. Grass and cereal crops grow well in natural compost, merely referred to as natural fertilizers.
Plant material, manure and crop residues may be composted as well.
The compost aids in binding the soil particles. Moreover, rainwater sinks underground and there is less surface runoff.
Therefore anyone can practice it and it’s frequent among farmers, as the compost helps revive the soil by trapping the carbon in it, when spread in the fields or ranches.
- Crop rotation
Crop rotation is the practice of growing different types of crops on the same field in sequenced seasons. Leguminous plants (black eyed peas), cereals (wheat), and tubers (sweet potatoes) may be grown sequentially one after the other.
Crop rotation may naturally reduce pest infestation between successive planting seasons, because pests that affect tomatoes are less likely to affect wheat or a sweet potatoes.
Crop rotation also suppresses the loss of nutrients in the soil and soil erosion, enhancing soil fertility and crop yield.
- Controlled Grazing
Controlled grazing helps minimize selective grazing in a herd.
Further encompasses rational grazing, which is defined as the progressive and efficient pasture management system that complements plant physiology principles with the nutritional needs of an animal, while improving soil through ecological processes.
In controlled grazing a herd is placed on a paddock for a specified period of time. This practice has been shown to improve natural vegetation structure and growth.
In summary, regenerative agricultural practices improve the soil and enhances plant growth. Let’s practice this to better improve the soil in our rangelands.