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Superb_Nature_2457 t1_j1s0tdd wrote

It’s important to note that regenerative agriculture encompasses a many different conservation focused techniques. Most of them are currently being implemented, but some of the bolder soil regeneration claims haven’t been reproduced or show to work at scale.

That said, the industry as a whole is producing some pretty amazing work. Hydroponics, agrivoltaics, and dry farming are my favorites.


53eleven t1_j1s57gk wrote

What “bolder soil regeneration claims” haven’t been reproduced or shown to work at scale?

It’s compost. It’s how nature works. It’s literally how the entire earth has worked for eons. We only very recently started introducing fertilizers and herbicides and pesticides and we got some extremely dramatic proof that this kind of farming is not sustainable almost a hundred years ago.

Tilling and adding chemical fertilizers is not sustainable. We don’t need to discuss how to deal with the rising cost of fertilizers, we need to stop relying on them altogether. Compost takes what has long been considered waste products and turns them into valuable natural fertilizers that are in every way superior to chemical additives.


Superb_Nature_2457 t1_j1sddke wrote

Regenerative ag isn’t just composting. It’s an entire sector that involves a ton of research and a number of different conservation methods. There have been a lot of claims made, especially in the last 8 years or so, about holistic management/regenerative ag greatly improving production and carbon sequestration that don’t really add up or end up falling apart under greater scrutiny. Less tilling also leads to more invasive species, which some farmers then compensate for by using more herbicides and pesticide. There are still ag chem businesses worming their way in by offering quick kill chemicals at the end of harvests to compensate for the lack of tillage, because you need to work the land year round to turn a profit. That sort of thing.

That said, we are moving away from fertilizers and overworking the soil. There’s way more focus on soil conservation methods, bioengineered crops that can better work with regenerative ag practices, and those methods I listed above. It’s just more complicated than returning to composting and calling it good.


53eleven t1_j1swsnc wrote

Naysayers gonna nay.

Let’s see a source (preferably not from a fertilizer company) for the claims you’re saying have been made about regenerative farming and how those claims are falling short.

How does no till lead to more invasive species? (We’re talking about farming here, pretty much everything being farmed is going to be a non native species).

Compost has what plants crave. Plants don’t crave chemical fertilizers. Regenerative farming is more than simply adding compost, but an enormous component of it involves adding organic matter back to the soil… composting.


snowmannn t1_j1u7ug0 wrote

Dang this is almost a perfect comment then you get all sideways with your tillage and herbicides comments. Your right, regenerative ag is a set of MANY practices. But not sure where you are getting the reduced tillage=more invasives...

Although tillage can combat growing weeds, it also significantly increases weed seed mobilization in the soil and ultimately creates the perfect conditions for weeds to germinate and grow. Secondly, reducing tillage is only one aspect of regen Ag like you said. The use of cover crops as further weeds suppression (in lieu of tillage) is already happening and a growing movement. Hate to say it, but herbicides are a vitally important tool in the toolbox for a regenerative farmer. Don't mix up "organic" mumbo jumbo farming with regenerative ag.


farmer1972 t1_j1uit84 wrote

So when do you plant cover crops right before it freezes or after ?


snowmannn t1_j1ujljr wrote

Depends entirely on the crop and where you are. We harvest wheat late July and plant a cover crop to grow for several months and then plant grain corn into that next spring. There are folks experimenting with interseeding cover crops into growing corn, but typically it is easier to plant cereal rye as a cover crop after corn harvest, before it freezes (hopefully)


farmer1972 t1_j1uk264 wrote

Yeah you must be a lot farther south than me. I’m in Canada so most of the time it’s not really a option for me. Thanks for the response


snowmannn t1_j1ul7l3 wrote

I'm in Ontario so we can get cereal rye in after corn, but always still a challenge. If you are out in Western Canada you should check out Derek and Tannis Axten (they have some stuff on YouTube). Fairly large grain farmers that have gone far on replacing synthetic fert, intercropping, compost, etc... All the good stuff! They grow alot of stuff we don't, but alot of the practices and concepts are applicable. I'm totally blown away by their liquid compost extract planter setup. Super duper relevant for this article on fert prices skyrocketing :)


farmer1972 t1_j1upuhs wrote

Yeah just scanned through his videos and most of those have been tried here or are already being done. He is about 400 miles from me and I would love to farm in that country. Thanks for the information I will continue to watch some of it


snowmannn t1_j1uxlu1 wrote

No problem, glad you found it interesting! Lots of small steps needed to make a better system, according to everyone's specific farm operation. Cheers and happy holidays!