Agriculture régénératrice

Could regenerative agriculture save us?

09 June 2022

What is Regenerative Agriculture

Regenerative agriculture combines several farming practices that focus on the natural enhancement of soil health and quality rather than just maximizing yields. These practices are mainly based on traditional natural farming methods but also incorporate modern research and innovations in sustainable agriculture.

This method of agriculture encourages living with the land rather than exploiting other lives for the benefit of just one: that of humans.

Main Practices

Regenerative agriculture employs four main practices.

Minimum Mechanical Intervention

Firstly, it uses minimum mechanical intervention. The goal is to mimic nature. Farmers, therefore, do not plow the soil and avoid using chemical inputs such as pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Non-plowed soil can "store" more water, which increases the growth of microorganisms in the soil, and in turn, enhances plant growth. In conventional agriculture, the more the soil is plowed, the weaker it becomes, leading to increased reliance on chemical products. This creates a vicious circle that continuously degrades the soil.


Secondly, regenerative agriculture promotes diversity. By diversifying the crops grown in the soil, it is possible to nurture the soil much more rapidly, as it is composed of several types of roots. Diversity creates a more resilient ecosystem. In addition to improving soil quality, diverse crops enable farmers to avoid losing all their harvests when a problem arises. For example, if the cost of growing corn significantly increases in one year, a farmer cultivating a wide variety of vegetables will not be as impacted as one who solely grows corn. The repercussions are limited because corn is only a small part of their overall activity.

Soil Protection

Thirdly, this type of agriculture promotes soil protection and root conservation. The methods used in regenerative agriculture allow the soil to retain all the microorganisms, which are essential for maintaining the soil's vitality. A healthy soil allows the plants to be healthy, which, in turn, benefits the animals that consume these plants. As humans, we then consume healthy meat, which is beneficial for our diet.

Animal Integration

Lastly, livestock plays a crucial role in this type of agriculture.

Animal integration is indeed vital. Animals accelerate the soil regeneration process through a system called rotational grazing. Rotational grazing involves moving livestock to graze and trample a specific area of land for a few days before moving them to another hectare of land. This hectare will not be reused for several months, allowing complete soil recovery. This grazing principle allows the soil to sequester carbon and regenerate continuously.

In contrast, conventional agriculture mostly focuses on monoculture for animal feed. Conventionally raised animals almost always eat the same thing, such as soybeans, corn, and hay, and are confined in feedlots. These feedlots produce a huge amount of greenhouse gases, which are detrimental to both the environment and the animals.

While conventional methods harm the planet and emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases, regenerative agriculture enables carbon absorption in the soil and aids in healing our planet. Animals raised harmoniously with the environment and agriculture are not problematic; it's how humans interact with them that causes significant harm to our planet.

Carbon and Regenerative Agriculture

After understanding the principles used, it is essential to comprehend the benefits that this type of agriculture brings to our environment. The concept of regenerative agriculture is closely related to the idea of living soil because the microorganisms present in the soil contribute to the underground carbon cycle. Through these microorganisms, the soil has the ability to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. According to some scientists, implementing regenerative agriculture practices on all degraded lands worldwide could reduce carbon concentrations in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels. Did you know that for a 1% increase in organic matter, half a hectare of land absorbs an additional ten tons of carbon? This means that the more microorganisms the soil contains, the more carbon the land absorbs.

Currently, soils cultivated using chemical methods in conventional agriculture are nearly devoid of microorganisms and life. When we degrade soils, they release water and carbon dioxide, leading to soil drying up and turning into dust. This phenomenon is called desertification.

Regenerative Agriculture: The Ideal Solution

About 25% of the planet's soils have been degraded by human activity. Regenerative agriculture is not just a solution that reduces carbon dioxide; it is a solution that heals our soils and climate, which we have been continuously destroying for many years. It is a sustainable agriculture that not only feeds the planet but also regenerates resources rather than depleting them.

The more regenerative foods we consume, the more farmers will produce them. So, by changing our habits, we can help regenerative agriculture expand. We have the power to make changes now and leave a healthy planet for future generations. Let's take pride in what we produce and restore the planet one plate at a time!

Sources used in writing this article:

COG. Regenerative Agriculture. Canadian Organic Growers.

Fortier-Morissette, C. (November 20, 2017). The ABC of Regenerative Agriculture. La Terre de Chez Nous.

Cameron, D. (March 28, 2021). Nature Is on the Farm. LaPresse.

Tickell, J & Harrell Tickell, R. (Directors) (2020). Kiss The Ground: Regenerative Agriculture. 1h24 min.

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