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Soil Science and Regenerative Agriculture

[Soil - Quanta]

- Overview

Regenerative agriculture addresses climate change and contributes to food security by restoring soil, organic matter and biodiversity, and reducing atmospheric carbon. It is a comprehensive and evolving nature-based approach that improves topsoil, food production and farmer incomes. 

Regenerative agriculture offers solutions that transform farmers into environmental and social heroes. It promotes the health of degraded soils by restoring organic carbon. Regenerative agriculture absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, reversing the impact of industrial agriculture on climate change. Regenerative practices such as no-till and cover cropping are reducing erosion and water pollution, resulting in healthier soils. 

The strong soils and diverse ecosystems created by organic practices produce higher-quality, nutrient-dense produce than conventional agriculture, resulting in productive farms, healthy communities, and thriving economies.


- Soil Science

Soil science is the study of soils as a natural resource on the Earth's surface, including soil formation, classification, and mapping; the physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties as they relate to the use and management of soils.

Soil scientists express concern about how to protect soil and cropland in a world of growing populations, potential future water crises, rising per capita food consumption and land degradation.


Vineyard Vines_122922A
[Vineyard Vines - Stanford University]

- Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture is a method of protecting and restoring food and agricultural systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity, improving the water cycle, enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biological sequestration, improving resilience to climate change, and enhancing the health and vitality of farm soils. 

Regenerative agriculture is not a specific practice in itself. Instead, proponents of regenerative agriculture use a combination of sustainable farming techniques. Practices include recycling as much farm waste as possible and adding compost material from off-farm. Regenerative agriculture for small farms and gardens is often based on concepts such as permaculture, agroecology, agroforestry, restoration ecology, critical design and holistic management. Large farms tend to be less philosophically driven and often use "no-till" and/or "reduced-till" practices. 

As soil health improves, input requirements may decrease, while crop yields may increase, as soils are more resistant to extreme weather and have fewer pests and pathogens. 

Most climate change mitigation plans focus on "reducing greenhouse gas emissions". Regenerative agriculture, the capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by growing plants that transfer carbon dioxide into the soil, is almost the only technology currently available to absorb greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere, primarily through farming and cultivating forests and permanent perennial pastures and grassland.


[More to come ...]

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