Regenerative Farming May Be Taking Off As A Concept All Over Australia, But Some Farmers Aren’t So Keen To Adopt The Term
by Lucy Sherwood
Regenerative farming may be taking off as a concept all over Australia, but some farmers aren’t so keen to adopt the term, citing concerns over its misuse and overuse.
Firstly, what is regenerative farming? The phrase is an umbrella term for a range of farming practices aimed at increasing on-farm biodiversity, improving soil health, increasing water retention, and creating resilience to climate change within farming systems. This often includes practices, such as holistic grazing management, agroforestry, mixed cover-cropping, polycultures, no-till farming, and the reduction of synthetic fertilisers, herbicides, and pesticides.
The reluctance of some farmers to adopt the term is not due to the fact that regenerative farming as a concept doesn’t have merit. It most certainly does. Farming and agriculture thrive on regeneration, with sustainability being precisely what farmers rely on for their financial futures or the futures of their successors. According to farmer Susie Bate; “the way we graze is fundamental to the health of our world.”
But the concept of regenerative farming can be tricky in that there isn’t a one size fits all approach. What works for your neighbour or a farm in NZ might not be what works for you. Instead, some farmers are adopting the title of “environmentally adaptive” rather than regenerative, which according to Susie, “ has become very overused”.
The term environmentally adaptive implies that you give the land precisely what it needs when it needs it. It’s a term that recognises the unique skills farmers possess in knowing the land they work on and the climate they operate in, and making the best decisions for their situation on a day-to-day basis. Adapting to their soil type, rainfall, elevation, temperature variation, and scale of operation are some of the concepts environmentally adaptive farmers employ to take care of the land they work on. Rotational grazing remains a key practice, but the length of grazing and resting periods are tailored to suit the environment of the farmer.
This style of adaptive rotational grazing is so popular amongst the Mobble user base that we added features like “days since last grazed” counters to help farmers keep track more effectively.