Regenerative Agriculture Principles in High Value Cropping Rotation
Can a healthy soil reduce the reliance on synthetic inputs?
By Robin Tait, 2018 Nuffield Scholar
Worldwide, soil is being degraded and lost through misguided farm practices which severely depletes the capacity of the agricultural community to feed the world.
Expanding knowledge of the complexity of soil ecosystems is awakening farmers to the services provided by the living component of soil. The soil provides ecological services that support life on the planet, yet many farming practices do not harness these services and rely heavily on synthetic inputs. This reliance is accentuated as soil degradation progresses.
Regenerative Agriculture (RA) defines a management paradigm aimed at restoring the soil ecosystem and is gaining momentum across the globe. As the soil ecosystem gains health reliance on synthetic inputs is reduced. This paradigm involves farming with nature rather than against it, to embrace soil complexity and living biology. The five principles for healthy soil management, underpinning Regenerative Agriculture are:
- Keep the soil covered
- Minimise soil disturbance
- A living plant all year around
- Livestock integration
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