last updated 28 April 2024

Regenerative vs. Sustainable Agriculture | Suterra
"Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." - UC Davis

Regenerative Agriculture seeks to rebuild the biological and chemical processes that may have existed at one point but diminished over time as the result of certain agricultural practices.


Farms:
some give tours
3 sisters W. Sac
American River Ranch

Presenters at 350 Community FOrum Apr 28 2024
Scot Park Farming organics
Molly Taylor (PT Ranch)
Javier Zamora (JS< farms)>)
Paul Muller (Full Belly Farms)

Basic principals
Low till or target tillage 2-3"
Cover crops
Bio-Diversity
N herbiacids
Turnover - mow or graze down
crop rotation - harvest cover for seed
compost
Social biome - multiple organics in a symbiotic relationship.

The Soil Health Academy teaches six principles of soil health: Minimize soil disturbance
Tilling can destroy the habitat of microbes, so it's important to minimize disturbance through tillage, chemical applications, and other practices that could harm the soil.
Special drills can plant seed with minimal disturbance.

Cover the soil
If you’re starting with a highly-compacted field, use cover crop species that are meant to break up compaction. Daikon radish is often one great option.
Soil health can't be built if the soil is uncovered or moving. Leaving forage residue and using a variety of plants can minimize bare ground and build organic matter.
use of a roller crimper to mow down the cover crop, leaving it on the ground to form a mulch that suffocates weeds.

Diversity
Increasing the diversity of plant and animal species can improve ecosystem function and increase soil and animal health.

Crop diversity
Growing different crops, including cover crops, increases the diversity of roots, which attracts different types of soil life.

Soil armor Cover Crops
Soil armor can reduce water and wind erosion, decrease water evaporation, moderate soil temperatures (microbes don't do well in 100° soil), and suppress weed growth. It also provides a habitat for surface dwellers, which are important to the soil food chain.
Cover crops should be planted as a mix, multi-species mixes promote more diversity.
Sequestering more organic carbon in the soil means that crops and the soil biome can thrive. Less CO2 is also released into the atmosphere and helps mitigate climate change.