REGENERATIVE VS INDUSTRIAL
FARMING

Farming Revolution is a concept to bring consumers to the forefront of our food production system

Regenerative AG

A collaboration of regenerative minds under one roof at the Nutrisoil 2018 conference.

REGENERATIVE verses INDUSTRIAL FARMING

Industrial Farming

The Industrial Farming approach has taken a living organism (soil) and degraded it by using the following techniques:

rELEASING CARBON

Releasing carbon from the ground into the atmosphere by ploughing, burning, harvesting and laying fields bare fallow. Without Carbon in the ground water cannot be absorbed, the natural sponge effect disappears and compaction is the end result.

Limiting diversity

Limiting diversity (monoculture) and by growing the same crop year in, year out (no crop rotation) destroys the diverse range of microbes in the soil, this weakens the natural immune system and defence mechanisms of the soil and plants.

Only suppling the soil with synthetic fertilizers

Only suppling the soil with synthetic fertilizers (Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium, (NPK), Urea and Superphosphates). This creates weak plants that are more susceptible to disease because it ignores all the other minerals that plants need. If our food is lacking these essential minerals this results in our diet becoming inadequate and therefore, we are quickly becoming a sick society dependent on taking synthetic drugs.

Using pesticides, herbicides and fungicides

Using pesticides, herbicides and fungicides (‘cides). This strips the soil of all good and bad microorganisms and insects. Residue is left to leach into our waterways and also contaminates our food.

Clearing native species

Clearing native species of flora and trees eliminates pollinating and predatory insects and entire ecosystems.

Over stocking and over grazing

Over stocking and over grazing kills off diverse species of grasses and leaves bare ground open to the effects of erosion by the weather (flooding, wind, searing heat).

The combined effect of all of the above contributes to creating stressed and lifeless ground. The most limiting factor in Australia is compaction. Once the ground is compacted no moisture can soak in (infiltration) therefore no plants can grow. When it rains the water simply runs off, leaching the topsoil and chemicals straight into our waterways and out to sea. This kills aquatic life and increases algae, helping to upset the equilibrium of ecosystems. Once the topsoil has disappeared it leaves our land baron, dry, compacted and hot.

Nothing can grow without Soil Organic Matter (SOM) and soil biology, that is the way nature intended it. Without soil biology, photosynthesising plants can’t survive.

The knock on effect to this is that we cannot produce food! We are at critical point. Something has to change and it has to change immediately.

Regenerative Farming

Regenerative Farming

Regenerative Farming is a unique approach incorporating the ways of the past with up-to-date science. This creates an holistic approach that allows Mother Nature to perform her magical tricks to help produce mineral dense healthy food/crops. This technique starts at grassroots level, protecting our soil is the fundamental part of Regenerative Farming.

The secret is

Photosynthesising plants need to live in the soil all year round, or at the very least, majority of the time. Cropping farmers need to retain as much stubble as possible during harvest to feed the soil biology.

Reseeding a cover crop immediately after harvest has been proven to be more beneficial because the roots and their exudates continue to help keep the soil alive. Keeping plants alive above the soil means retaining the life below (roots and microbes).

Photosynthesis puts Carbon back into the soil

Taking a greenhouse gas from the air and putting it back into the ground. Carbon acts as a big sponge giving microbes a place to live and allows infiltration of moisture to happen.

Carbon is EXTREMELY important in keeping our soil healthy. Taking it out of our atmosphere means it’s a free resource. The nitrogen in our atmosphere is also free so let Mother Nature increase our soil and plant profit, naturally.

A diverse range of photosynthesising plants creates microbial diversity within the soil

And different root systems benefit both the soil and plants’ health (companion planting). They also help to create hummus, this aids in the creation of soil aggregates that aerate the soil and prevent compaction. Soil Organic Matter (SOM) is the most important component of a healthy soil and is converted into hummus with the help of living organisms.
i) Fungi
ii) Bacteria
iii) Protazoa
iv) Worms
v) Insects – above and below the ground
vi) Root exudates – the secretion that allows plants to communicate with each other.

A diverse range of photosynthesising plants increases a diverse range of fungi

Dark fungi are the Carbon sequestering fungi converting the Carbon to melanin a stable form of Carbon within the soil. Mycorrhiza fungi create an increased root surface area to help search for, and uptake specific micro and macro nutrients when the plants require them.

To create a healthy plant actually means an increase in its defence mechanism and the need to use ‘cides decreases drastically. Increasing profit.

Photosynthesising plants with deeper rooting ability, especially perennials, improves infiltration because:

i) Carbon storage is encouraged much deeper in the soil enabling deeper infiltration and water storage capacity. Mother Nature’s natural protective effect against drought, flooding and wind erosion.

ii) They create an attractive environment for the microbes at a much deeper level. Photosynthesis exchanges sugar from the plants’ roots for nutrients and moisture from the microbes and fungi. Therefore the moisture is held much deeper in the ground.

iii) The roots are able to penetrate deeper, therefore they grow stronger plants above ground and help to hold the moisture deeper, away from the climatic changes.

All of the above, helps to create an active biological community that enables the plants to absorb the chemistry (minerals) from the soil. Our food becomes healthy, mineral dense, clean food.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Farming regeneratively means to farm without synthetic fertilizers and chemicals.

To increase the quality and function of our soil by working with Mother Nature to create a balance between producing healthy food with very little cost to our environment.

Our Farmers reduce inputs but increase quality of yields and profit. They improve society’s health because our food is now superior and full of minerals and nutrition. Our land and environment is managed so that our food, soil, water and air are no longer being destroyed.

Overall our global impact is lessened, ensuring a healthier future for our children.