This is part of the reason why Trace & Save initiated the carbon farming project. It is a central place where information on sustainable farm management can be transferred, a place where the commonality is caring for our soils and their health. Caring for our soils is caring for the future.
Plants are made-up of many components which each play an important role in the plants’ functioning. The part with the most important role of all is the leaf. This is where the core of the plants defensive and growth systems are initiated.
Regenerative agriculture is an approach to farming that aims to restore soil, reduce erosion, increase soil carbon levels, enhance biodiversity, improve water cycling, enhance ecosystem services and generally restore and improve the health of the entire agroecosystem.
In essence it entails learning from what happens in nature and implementing it in our intensive agricultural systems, so that we can benefit from the services that soil provides in nature.
As a farmer, your primary use for soil is for growing crops. Soil fulfils this function by being an anchor for plant roots and a store for water and nutrients. One of the soil properties that ensure that this happens effectively is soil structure.
So what is soil and how can it sequester carbon? Soil is a living miracle. In one handful of soil; there are more organisms than there are humans on earth. We are now only beginning to understand this vast network of beings right under our feet.
Protists are a group of microorganisms that did not tick all the boxes to be called bacteria, fungi or nematodes. These microorganisms play a crucial role in the mineralisation process.
The original source of carbon in the roots is atmospheric carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is a process which everyone has heard of, and probably studied at school, but I don’t think we fully realise and appreciate its uniqueness and value.
Farmers have the potential to significantly increase the productivity of their farm, and decrease their environmental impact, by implementing practices which improve the health of their soil.
The unfortunate truth is that there are no silver bullets in farming. The agro-ecosystem is way too complex, with far too many interactions, to have a simple, single solution to challenges.