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Industrial Food Production Is Failing Us, Regenerative Farming Is the Solution

Our food and farming system is facing a reckoning — a global pandemic that upended supply chains and unearthed the horrific consequences of a consolidated meatpacking industry, climate change threatening food production across the country, fertilizer shortages, rising prices at the grocery store and a sector that accounts for 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Our current agricultural system is failing us. It’s high time we build toward a stronger, healthier, more equitable and more resilient one.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report “Regenerative Agriculture: Farm Policy for the 21st Century” details an alternative vision of what agriculture can be — one that can respond better to external shocks (such as a pandemic), combat climate change by embracing Indigenous growing principles, protect biodiversity by managing farms and ranches as ecosystems, and support competition while putting decision-making power back into the hands of independent farmers and ranchers.

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Indigenous Communities Transform a Mexican Desert Landscape Into Forest

  • In the Mexican state of Oaxaca, 22 communities have taken on the challenge of reviving soils depleted by centuries of overgrazing.
  • Over the last two decades, they’ve managed to restore at least 20,000 hectares (49,000 acres), turning many sites into burgeoning forests.
  • The task is especially challenging because the communities are starting from “less than zero” — having to find ways to restore their soil before they can even think about planting trees.
  • The success of the initiative means the communities can now look forward to more options for forest-based livelihood, such as agroforestry or even selling carbon credits.

In Tepejillo, on one of the many hills in the southern Mexican municipality of San Juan Bautista Coixtlahuaca, extreme erosion has transformed the earth into bare rock, making it difficult to imagine that the area used to be home to a forest or, even more incredibly, a civilization.

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West Texas Farmers Look to Regenerative Agriculture to Fight Extreme Weather

The South Plains is known for its bountiful crops, but growers have battled the elements for years – a problem gotten worse as natural resources, like water, dwindle. In response, some West Texas farmers are looking for an alternative.

“The main thing was the soil degradation that we were seeing from high winds and prolonged periods of dry conditions,” Wall said. “When you see your topsoil piling up at the edge of the field, or on the highway, it was not uncommon. It was really my concern from seeing that that made me want to find another way.”

Wall turned to science for a solution, and found regenerative agriculture.

Some West Texas farmers have turned to regenerative farming techniques to improve their land and crops as extreme heat, strong winds and drought conditions have worked against them for years. Regenerative farming includes holistic practices like no-tilling the land, rotational grazing through livestock and steering clear of any chemical additives.

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Toman el enfoque de la Permacultura, la agricultura regenerativa

Sistema productivo más amigable con el medio ambiente

“Los ingenieros agrónomos nos hemos formado en el paradigma de la Revolución Verde, de la agricultura intensiva, industrial, semillas mejoradas, fertilizantes químicos, pesticidas, paquetes tecnológicos; pero ya se han visto los datos que este sistema arroja. La misma FAO recomienda se explore la reinvención de los sistemas alimentarios, y la permacultura es una alternativa para comprender principios nuevos, conocidos como Agricultura Regenerativa, que indica que se tiene que volver a trabajar el suelo. El paradigma de la Revolución Verde manejaba el suelo como algo inerte, algo que ahí estaba y necesita fertilizantes, pero en realidad en el suelo hay mucha vida, y el uso de los fertilizantes químicos contribuyen, a acabar con esa vida de bacterias, de protozoarios, de hongos que ayudan a la planta a absorber los nutrientes necesarios y  si se destruye esta microbiología, se está acabando con la biodiversidad por sí misma y se afecta la calidad de los nutrientes que ofrecen las plantas”, sentenció el Dr. Lorenzo Alejandro López Barbosa, profesor del Departamento de Sociología y responsable del Centro de Permacultura de la Universidad Autónoma Agraria Antonio Narro.

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Farms following soil-friendly practices grow healthier food, study suggests

Everyone knows eating fruits and vegetables is good for your health. But these days, stores offer a dizzying array of options: organic, conventional, CSAs, local agriculture. Which ones are best for your health?

A new study, published in January in the journal PeerJ, looks at how regenerative farming practices—soil-building techniques that minimize plowing, use cover crops, and plant diverse crops—affect the nutritional content of the food.

Results of the preliminary experiment, which included 10 farms across the U.S., show that the crops from farms following soil-friendly practices for at least five years had a healthier nutritional profile than the same crops grown on neighboring, conventional farms. Results showed a boost in certain minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals that benefit human health.

Reforestar para impulsar la agricultura regenerativa

Madrid (EuroEFE).- La plantación de árboles en zonas de cultivo permite mejorar las condiciones del suelo, pilar básico de la denominada agricultura regenerativa, un sistema de cultivo basado en soluciones naturales que busca enriquecer los terrenos para una producción más «sana y nutricional».

Por ello, en la Finca de La Junquera (Murcia), que apuesta por la agricultura regenerativa, se plantarán 10.000 árboles a lo largo de los próximos meses en colaboración con Life Terra, un proyecto cofinanciado con fondos europeos que promueve la plantación de 500 millones de árboles en la Unión Europa, uno por cada habitante.

En total, se actuará sobre 10 hectáreas, ha explicado el propietario de La Juntera, Alfonso Chico de Guzmán, durante la plantación de las primeras unidades.

La finca, que ocupa más de 1.100 hectáreas, se encuentra en el municipio de Caravaca de la Cruz, en Murcia, una de las zonas más secas de la Península y en riesgo inminente de desertificación debido, principalmente, al cambio climático y las prácticas agrícolas convencionales.

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Regenerative agriculture can combat climate change and keep food on our plates. Here’s how it works

Last summer, the world’s largest french fry producer, McCain Foods, made Canadian headlines when it promised to convert its entire supply chain to regenerative agriculture, an approach to agriculture that promises to sequester carbon and boost biodiversity.

The New Brunswick potato giant is not alone. Over the past decade, the approach has been promoted by a hodgepodge of both small- and large-scale farmers, environmental and social justice advocates, agribusiness CEOs, tech bros, journalists, and academics. It’s even received federal support, with Canada’s 2030 emissions reduction plan pledging roughly $1 billion to help farmers adopt regenerative methods.

Over the coming weeks, a five-part series by Canada’s National Observer will explore the cast of characters putting the approach into practice in Canada. It will look back on a couple who farmed regeneratively before it was cool and try to figure out if beef can ever be sustainable.

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Benedikt Bösel, updates from the 3000h German farm in transition

An interview with Benedikt Boesel, German farmer in transition to regenerative agriculture, he’s one of the leading farmers of regenerative practices at scale in Europe, manages over 3000 hectares of land in the east of Berlin. After hosting a special Transition Finance for Farmers series Benedikt and Koen talk about the importance of having the best team, bridging the gap in helping farmers transition to regen ag, syntropic agroforestry, and more!

What has changed, and how has on-farm experimentation, even in the forestry part, exploded? What were the crucial elements to have this crazy growth? Where are we in this regenerative evolution, and what do we know?

Sticking with the Right People

Benedikt emphasizes the importance of being able to find those incredible and hardworking people that have the same vision and beliefs as this is the kind of relationship that works out.

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Agricultura regenerativa y soluciones climáticas naturales

Para pasar revista a este tema, se procede a reseñar la charla Regenerative agriculture and Natural climate solutions enmarcada en el contexto de las “Hoch Cunningham Environmental Lectures” el 17 de febrero de 2022. En esta exposición Ben Dobson compartió su experiencia para escalar soluciones prácticas para restaurar el equilibrio del dióxido de carbono. Dobson es el fundador y presidente de Hudson Carbon, que es un instituto de investigación de suelos en granjas de Estados Unidos, que tiene como finalidad estudiar cómo la agricultura regenerativa orgánica puede maximizar la captura de carbono y restaurar los ecosistemas. De esta forma, se pueden vender compensaciones de carbono directamente de las granjas.

El fundador y presidente de Hudson Carbon mostró los resultados hasta la fecha de su investigación sobre agricultura orgánica basada en el uso de semillas creadas a partir de materia orgánica y su uso para mejorar la cadena de uso de la tierra y mitigación para el cambio climático.

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La agricultura regenerativa ofrece servicios ecosistémicos a la sociedad

Así lo muestran los resultados de la primera fase del proyecto de investigación que se está llevando a cabo entre la Universidad de Almería y AlVelAl a través de UALtransfierE

La agricultura regenerativa ofrece importantes servicios ecosistémicos a la sociedad tal y como se ha presentado en la jornada de transferencia del conocimiento celebrada en Vélez Rubio a través del proyecto UALtrasnfierE, organizada por la Universidad de Almería y AlVelAl.

Una jornada que ha contado con la participación del vicerrector de Investigación de la Universidad de Almería, Diego Luis Valera; la coordinadora provincial de la Agencia de Gestión Agraria de Granada, M.ª Carmen García; la vicepresidenta de AlVelAl, Santiaga Sánchez; el responsable de Agricultura Regenerativa e Investigación de AlVelAl, Miguel Ángel Gómez; y los investigadores del proyecto UALtransfierE: Evaluación de la biodiversidad, diversidad funcional y servicios ecosistémicos como valor añadido de la Agricultura Regenerativa- BIOSERAREG, Pedro Aguilera y Beatriz Salazar.

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