AGRICULTURE NEWS - Regenerative agriculture is the latest buzz in responsible agricultural management. It is similar to conservation farming in that it combines the use of stubble retention, crop rotation and the minimum disturbance of the soil to promote soil health, but is on a higher level as it also incorporates the use of cover crops, compost teas, compost and manure (to avoid using synthetic fertilisers), pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
While having the same aims, it moves beyond the simple definition of ‘organic’ and ‘biological’ production, aiming not only to replace chemical inputs with so-called natural inputs, or to improve microbiological diversity, but to adapt farming practices to what is happening in and around the plant, and to essentially mimic rather than work against nature.
The first thing to change when switching to regenerative farming is your mindset, says Prof Buz Kloot from the University of South Carolina in the US. Kloot, a proponent of regenerative farming, has been documenting regenerative farming practices in the US since 2011.
During a recent regenerative farming conference in Cape Town, he explained that farmers are often led to look for quick fixes to improve production outcomes.
Regenerative agriculture, in contrast, is built on a “soil health mindset”, which is “more about thinking through what you are doing and where you are going with your production practices”.