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Collaborative Home

The Center for Regenerative Agriculture at University of Missouri provides a collaborative home for research, education, and extension work.  The work spans state-level, regional, and national projects and includes partners from many different organizations.  Specific activities for the Center include serving as an information resource for diverse audiences, organizing and hosting educational field days, webinars, workshops, and conferences, and fostering interdisciplinary research on regenerative approaches.  Key goals include building more integrated approaches to regenerative farming and developing food systems that are more resilient.

Thoughts on Regenerative Agriculture

Our understanding of the approaches that best contribute to regenerative agriculture is still evolving.  However, there are some key practices and desired outcomes that are commonly considered relevant to regenerative management.

Key Practices* to Improve the Regenerative Aspects of Agriculture

  • Cover crops to help provide living roots and cover year-round on fields
  • Diversified crop rotations
  • Use of no-till or strip-till to minimize soil disturbance
  • Integration of livestock with crops, such as grazing cover crops
  • Use of more diverse pastures and some use of natives in selected pastures
  • Best management practices for crop nutrients, including 4R approach
  • Integrated pest management with increased use of biological control methods
  • Providing habitat and food sources for pollinators and other beneficial insects
  • Agroforestry practices such as riparian buffers, windbreaks, alley cropping, etc.
  • Use of buffer strips for field margins, riparian corridors, and on contours of sloping fields
  • Use of native plants in multiple parts of the overall farm landscape

*This should be considered a partial list, and not all farms will need or use every practice.  The choice of practices will depend on the characteristics of the farm, goals of the farmer/landowner, and economic considerations.

Desired Outcomes for Regenerative Farming

  • Increasing soil health
  • Sequestering carbon
  • Boosting soil organic matter
  • Restoring degraded soils
  • Reducing soil disturbance and preventing soil erosion
  • Protecting water quality
  • Developing integrated crop, livestock, and conservation approaches
  • Improving resilience of our food system to extreme weather and changing climate
  • Enhancing biodiversity through use of more plant types and animals
  • Supporting the health, vitality, and prosperity of farm families and rural communities

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