In this NOVASOIL blog entry we would like to share with you an article from the press (La Vanguardia), published in April 2023, which reflects on the current situation of agricultural soils and the importance of regenerative agriculture (link).
Regenerative agriculture is a technique that focuses on restoring soil fertility and quality naturally, without the use of synthetic fertilisers. This technique can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution for the agricultural sector, especially in times of drought and water scarcity.
According to the author (Lorena Fernández ), regenerative agriculture is still largely unknown in Catalonia (northeastern Spain). However, there are successful cases in other countries, such as the United States or Australia, that can serve as examples. This is the case of James Sweetapple, winemaker and owner of Cargo Road Wines, who managed to increase his wine production by 11.24% during the worst drought Australia has experienced in the last 100 years.
In addition to higher yields, regenerative agriculture is also more resilient to pests and disease. According to a study by the University of Bonn, for every euro invested in soil restoration through regenerative farming practices, between two and nine euros can be returned over 30 years.
Instead of using synthetic fertilisers, which can damage the soil in the long term, this technique is based on good agri-environmental practices, such as the use of organic fertilisers and composting to improve soil quality. It also encourages diversification and crop rotation to avoid soil depletion. It is reminiscent of the environmental schemes of the last CAP.
Another common practice in regenerative agriculture is rotational grazing, where livestock are moved from one area to another to avoid overloading the soil and allow it to recover. It can also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting carbon sequestration in the soil.
There are many successful examples of this type of regenerative practice across Europe:– Kastanienhof Organic Farm, Germany (https://kastanienhof.bio): This organic farm uses crop rotation, composting and direct seeding to grow a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. They also use agroforestry to create a balanced and diverse ecosystem. The farm has managed to increase biodiversity, improve soil quality and reduce the use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers.– Finca Son Barrina, Spain (https://permamed.org/proyectos/los-circulos-de-la-permacultura-son-barrina/): This farm uses agroforestry to grow almond and other fruit trees in combination with vegetables and legumes. The farm has succeeded in improving soil quality and reducing erosion, as well as increasing biodiversity and reducing its carbon footprint.– Poulehouse, France (https://www.poulehouse.fr): This farm uses regenerative agriculture to produce eggs from cage-free hens fed an organic diet. The farm uses crop rotation and agroforestry to create a sustainable and diverse ecosystem. The farm has managed to increase biodiversity and improve soil quality while producing high quality eggs in a sustainable way.– Riverford Organic Farmers, United Kingdom (https://www.riverford.co.uk): This organic farm uses crop rotation and agroforestry to produce a wide variety of vegetables and fruit. The farm also uses soil conservation and composting techniques to improve soil quality. Riverford Organic Farmers has managed to increase biodiversity and improve the resilience of the farming system while producing healthy and sustainable food.
In summary, regenerative agriculture is a promising technique that can help improve soil quality, reduce water consumption and increase agricultural yields in a sustainable and cost-effective way. While it may still be unfamiliar to some, there are numerous success stories across Europe and the world that demonstrate its long-term effectiveness.
If you are interested in learning more about regenerative agriculture and becoming part of our community, we invite you to join our newsletter. As a member, you will receive the latest updates on regenerative farming practices, success stories from farmers around the world, and information on upcoming events and workshops.
Not only will you have access to valuable resources and information, but you will also have the opportunity to connect with like-minded people who share your passion for sustainable agriculture. By joining our community, you can help support the growth and development of regenerative agriculture and contribute to building a more resilient and equitable food system for future generations.
So why wait? Sign up for our newsletter today and start your journey towards a more sustainable and regenerative future!
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