Widening Circles of Influence

Previously a discussion was underway that highlighted the word carbon was restrictive when describing farming practices.  To recap: Policy tends to favour the use of Carbon as a market instrument, and farming practices are formed around production and the increase or decrease in methane gas in that practice. Therefore policy and operations do not have a linear relationship in effectiveness. Part of the reason for this is one measure is an imposed constraint, and the other affected by natural occurrences or balances.

Thinking further on the word carbon, is it time to come up with another term for improving practices in agriculture, and keep that separate from markets and livestock descriptors?

CO2Land org has noted that the Rodale Institute (www.rodalinstitute.org ) is also thinking along these lines and they are going further in advocating organic farming. They have used the term ‘ Regenerative Agriculture’ and say it is to remind us of the true importance of farmers in our society.  In a direct quote from the Institute:  “We remember that agriculture is the foundation of all civilization, that when you improve agriculture, you elevate the whole society. And we affirm that agriculture is an absolutely essential part of any world-wide effort to improve our environment and health”.

Therefore ‘Regenerative’ might be a more correct description for agriculture in general as the sustainable approach could be measures of regenerating the soil, regenerating the health of ourselves, reducing reliance on or eliminating chemical fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.

With a focus on regenerative agriculture other benefits will come in the form better practices for the local environment, less organic waste, better recycling and improved economic performance. Also if we are nearing the tipping point of environmental change through anthropogenic activities these improving practice tools will better equip us for a better adaption strategy for our own survival.

CO2Land org can also see that changing in this way could make for higher profit, build on many sustainable practices already underway such as compost and cover crops, tillers and no-till. The main difference will be improved stewardship over the land.