What Is Regenerative Agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture improves ecosystem health, and it consists of practices that (i) increase organic matter, biological activity, biodiversity, and carbon sequestered in the soil and (ii) improve soil structure, water quality, and the health of the ecosystem and community in which the farm is located. Healthy soils are the foundation of regenerative agriculture.
What is Soil Health?
We define soil health as the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. There are four different characteristics of healthy soil: it should function as a biological system, build organic matter, have a strong structure to hold onto water and nutrients, and be able to capture carbon and reduce greenhouse gases.
The five principles of soil health, according to the National Resources Conservation Service, are:
1. Minimize soil disturbance
2. Keep soil covered as much as possible
3. Keep a living root in the soil as much of the year as possible
4. Maximize crop diversity
5. Integrate livestock where possible