There is a lot more nutrient cycling taking place than just what is put into the soil through fertiliser, and taken out in grass and eventually milk. In order to develop a more efficient nutrient cycling system, farmers have to take into account the various losses and sources of nutrients.
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.
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.
To ensure continued food production, we need to ensure natural resources are not depleted. This goal is achieved through sustainable farming practices.
Progress, growth, improvement, development, these are all words that we positively associate with business. I think most people would agree that they want to improve, progress and grow. The big question is, are you actually improving? Are the practices you currently implement contributing to the continuous improvement of your farm?
Sustainability is more often about the process, than it is about achieving specific goals and then moving on to something different. There is always room for improvement, and opportunity to become more sustainable.
Here is a short description of what we do to improve the benefit that farmers derive from our research. There is an example used of a course attended in order to broaden our knowledge.
“As farmers, we are stewards of the land. It is our responsibility to ensure that as caretakers we treat it with respect and leave it in a better condition for future generations” – Bonnen Biggs, Suiderland Farm
Multi-species pastures have become a prominent topic over the last few years. Why does everyone make such a big deal about it?