After at least a half century of conventional farming, we know 5 things for sure.
- We are destroying our soils
- We are poisoning our environment
- We are driving species to extinction
- We are facing a chronic health epidemic
- It is time for change
Luckily, with the information age upon us, the grassroots are taking hold, and a new era of agriculture is emerging. One that is based on modeling nature’s processes. Here are the 5 principles of regenerative agriculture, as described by Gabe Brown.
- Limiting disturbance of the soil
- Keeping the soil covered at all time
- Diversity of both plant and animal species
- Maintaining living roots
- Integrating livestock
Although many of these principles have been around for centuries, there are new twists that reflect today’s science and technology.
No-till seeding drills, roller/crimpers, portable electric fencing, and our new understanding of soil biology make for exciting, productive, and super lucrative opportunities for those farmers willing to step up and figure this stuff out.
Getting triple the price for your product (if organically certified), with fewer input costs, while maintaining conventional yields, is one heck of an incentive if you decide to make it work.
(Keep in mind that while it is actually cheaper to produce food organically, the price in the store reflects the state of supply and demand. There is a huge demand right now, without the needed supply. The window for monster profits will be reduced with time as supply catches up to demand.)
While the biggest names in the game are probably Joel Salatin and Gabe Brown, there are a legion of followers who are putting their practices to work in every corner of the globe. Even here in Saskatchewan, while zero-til has certainly become the norm, cocktail cropping and rotational grazing will also become the norm in time.
As North America slips into a chronic disease epidemic, it is no wonder Russia has declared they will become a fully organic nation by 2025. One look at the health (and health costs) of America and no wonder that decision was made!
Every nations’ national security depends on a healthy, productive population, and hopefully, agricultural reform will cascade throughout the world in the coming decade.
It should be known, however, that organic, and regenerative organic, are somewhat two different paddocks in the same field.
Current organic practices just aren’t sustainable. Tillage and mono-cropping, still common practices in organic certification, are both destructive to soil biology.
While some organic farmers go above and beyond organic guidelines, REGENERATIVE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION will become the gold standard of a truly sustainable future in this century.
What can YOU do as a farmer in these transitional times?
What can you do as an eater?