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Regenerative Farming Benefits

Regenerative Farming

-Holistic Management

-Crop Rotation

-Livestock Rotation

-Increasing Bio-Diversity

-Reduced Soil Disturbance

Read Below for more detail

What is Regenerative Farming?

Regenerative farming

Regenerative farming is working with wildlife and the land as opposed to farming against it. Regenerative farming involves reducing or stopping ploughing to avoid soil disturbance to lock carbon into the soil. Regenerative farms will not excessively trim hedgerows and allow grass to grow for longer periods of time to help lock carbon deep into the soil. Regenerative farms in an ideal sense should be grow a variety of animals, such as cows, sheep, pigs and ducks rather than just focussing on one animal, this enables all animals to offer a different use to the farm and better mimic nature. Regenerative farms have a lot more wildlife and insects on the farm due to a less interfering approach by the farmer.

Ruxstons has narrowed down regenerative farming to four generalised key points listed below.

-Holistic management- such as leaving longer rest periods for grass to grow between grazing, This means more time for growth of the grass, this allows larger root systems to develop for more carbon matter stored in the soil. Grazing too often may lead to stunting grass growth, effectively making the plant too stressed before it continues to grow. A good way to see if a farm may be using regenerative practices is to look at the length of their grass, you may often notice fields or sections of fields left which much longer grass where the animals are prevented from going.

-Use of crop and livestock rotation- This can stop disease setting in where similar crops are planted year after year, a process called mono-cropping. Mono cropping ensures that as all plants will need certain minerals from the ground they will always take the same one, by growing different plants and crops this ensures one mineral is not excessively taken. In livestock terms a good example would be parasites that only affect sheep which can be rotated with cows not affected by the same parasite, the multi species element in this example would reduce the likelihood of this disease setting in in the first place.

-Increasing diversity - In the land to work with nature and farm livestock on a low input system. A variation of plants and more plants = healthier soil, more pollinators and a variety of food for different livestock allowing easier rotation. A lot of regenerative farms use herbal leys,  a mixture of plants such as clover dandelion, plantain and chicory offer livestock a wider nutritional diet creating healthier and tastier beef to enjoy all while encouraging more diversity in the land, and fixing nitrogen into the soil.

-Reducing Soil disturbance- such as the reduction in ploughing for sowing crops, having excessive upturned soil can lead to rain running along the exposed soil surfaces causing nutrient run off. Some regenerative farmers have modified direct drilling machines to reduce tilling to less than 20% which is a huge decrease on the 100% a plough would cause. Not only avoiding upturning soil, but excessive compaction on the soil can be negative as well. Root growth is reduced under compacted soils, minimising uses of heavy machinery can be positive to the land. Driving on wet grass is very negative for root growth and should be avoided unless urgently required.

hebal leys at horner far,

Herbal Leys at Horner Farm

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