In celebration of the inaugural National Regenerative Agriculture Day launched on 14 February 2019, NACC took a moment to appreciate all things regenerative agriculture and help spread the #HeartYourFarmer social media campaign.
Agriculture accounts for over a third of the economy in the Northern Agricultural Region. And with 70 per cent of the land in the region dedicated to farming, sustainability of this sector means sustainability of the region.
Regenerative agriculture is an approach to food and farming systems which aims to regenerate topsoil, increase biodiversity, improve water cycles, enhance ecosystem services, support bio-sequestration, increase resilience to climate fluctuation, and strengthen the health and vitality of farm soil. There is also some evidence that regenerative agriculture is good for farming individuals as well – read more about that here.
So in short, it’s basically farming for the future.
The principles are simple. Strong, healthy soils with deep carbon levels retain water, support strong nutrient-rich plants, and promote biodiversity.
Regenerative practices have the potential to address many of the problems faced by farmers today; loss of soil carbon, reduced soil nitrogen, soil compaction, declining pH, low nutrient availability, impaired water use efficiency and many more.
There are a lot of examples of regenerative agriculture methods being applied locally, including but not limited to; pasture cropping, cover cropping, minimum and no till practices, utilization of grazing management, revegetation and holistic management approaches. However, there is really no limit to the ideas that can be applied, ranging from planting (or leaving) nature strips of wildflowers to improve pollination and biodiversity, multispecies cover cropping (think 20 plus species), various composting methods and applications (The Johnson-Su Composting Bioreactor method looks interesting – relatively cheap and relatively simple to apply even to broadscale farming), Natural Sequence Farming, Keyline Subsoiling and more.
The key thing to remember is there is no silver bullet and no one practice or method can or will fit all farming businesses.
If you would like to know more about regenerative agriculture please get in contact with our Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitators – Lizzie King (E) [email protected] or (P) 0447 361 335 and Annabelle Garratt (E) [email protected] or (P) 0448 986 879.