In order to counteract climate and environmental threats, agriculture must rethink the world over. Regenerative agriculture is an important measure in this regard. It is a method of giving new life to the soil. Farmers in Australia, the USA, Africa and many other countries have adopted methods where you work to take care of the soil so that we take care of a living earth for the generations that come after us.
Regenerative agriculture is based on the following main principles:
- Reduced tillage
- Green plant cover all year round
- Biodiversity which ensures the diversity of plants, animals, insects and microbes
- Living roots
- Integrated agriculture with animals
Biodiversity refers to the diversity of animals, plants, insects and other living organisms. Preserving diversity is important to ensure that ecosystems are maintained and not collapsed.
A lot of tillage with plowing and harrowing causes us to destroy microorganisms and fungi in the soil. The living roots and microbes help to build up organic material in the soil. When we lose organic matter, we also lose much of the water-binding capacity of the soil, and it is easily exposed to drought, wind and water erosion.
Reduced tillage, which is used in regenerative agriculture, creates better conditions for building up organic matter and revitalizing the soil.
This is a measure to take better care of the soil, prevent erosion and maintain the soil's ability to bind water. Farmers who operate according to regenerative methods try to facilitate good soil health and a lot of micro-life in the soil. They thus help to build up carbon stores in the soil. Authorities in several countries see this as an important climate measure and pay farmers to contribute positively to the climate accounts.
At Mære, together with the three other natural resource schools in Trøndelag, we have tried to learn more about how we can work according to regenerative methods.
Photo: Aina Citye