Saturday, April 20, 2024

Regenerative Agriculture Makes for Sustainable Farming

According to a report by One Earth, since the beginning of agriculture. 133 gigatons of carbon have been lost from soils. Regenerative agriculture is designed to keep that carbon in the soil. (Adobe Stock)

RICHMOND — Virginia farmers looking for a sustainable way to tend to their crops can look at regenerative agriculture. The idea is to focus on soil health and the carbon sequestration of the land. It improves the soil quality without artificially fertilizing it.

Steve Normanton, farmer and owner of Normanton Farms, utilizes regenerative agriculture and finds it has numerous benefits, one of which is keeping plants healthy for consumption.

“You are what you eat, right? So what you want to be putting into your body is the healthiest possible food that you possibly can,” Normanton stressed. “You’re looking at that, and you’re thinking about regenerative agriculture. It’s all about creating healthy soil.”

He added another way it is sustainable for farming is the soil’s health makes for better crops, since it is not reliant on pesticides.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture accounted for about 11% of climate change in 2020.

Despite the benefits of regenerative agriculture, farms still have to go with a method which keeps their business afloat.

Lotanna Obodozie, climate campaign director for the National Young Farmers Coalition, believes making a profit and doing regenerative agriculture doesn’t have to be an either-or situation.

“I think that even though there isn’t that specific focus on pure yield and farm size, this still is a profitable method of farming,” Obodozie asserted. “But, again, because regenerative agriculture takes a more holistic approach to farming, the sole focus isn’t just profit.”

Some of the long-term benefits of regenerative agriculture include better water retention, better ability to hold nutrients and reduced soil erosion. She added one key point of this method of farming is the focus on keeping land healthy for generations to come.

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