Benefitting from buffers and diversity

All types of farms, fields, and pastures can benefit from plant diversity. Diversity can break pest and disease cycles as well as reduce weed pressure. In row crop fields, it typically is not effective to grow more than one cash crop together at a time for harvest and production reasons; however there are other...

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Integrating crops and livestock

Whether you have your own livestock or can partner with a neighbor who does, you may find it profitable to set up grazing on some of your crop fields. Most often, this involves grazing cover crops in late fall and/or early spring. Some of the “cereal grain” type cover crops such as cereal rye,...

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Boosting soil carbon

Today it’s getting more common to hear farmers refer to themselves as carbon farmers or to say they want to restore the soil carbon on their farm. This trend is being supported by an increasingly wide array of public and private sector payments for farming practices that put more carbon in the soil (a...

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Making your farm more resilient

If you are like most farmers, one of the ongoing challenges for you is dealing with weather extremes, from droughts to heavy rainfalls where your fields or pastures are sopping wet. There is no single management approach that can stave off drought or hold back flooding, but improved soil health and certain management practices...

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Finding solutions

Just like your clients, you may find this whole area of regenerative agriculture a bit complex because there are so many different ideas about what works. Start by picking a particular practice to develop your expertise in and seek out your own experiences, taking particular advantage of opportunities to hear from farmers having success...

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New business opportunities

Many farm advisors, whether working as independent consultants or for larger companies, are finding new business opportunities related to soil health and regenerative agriculture. Depending on the type of business you have, you might find there are new services you can be providing your clients. Examples of such opportunities include: Providing soil health sampling...

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Cover crops pay

A national report on cover crop economics by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program showed that cover crops typically have a net cost for the first couple of years but by the third year of use are breaking even on average. After the third year, well-managed cover crops can generally provide...

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Investing in soil health

Healthier soils help the productivity of crop fields and pastures in several ways. They have higher levels of microbial activity, leading to more effective nutrient cycling that can help plants grow well. Healthier soils generally have more organic matter than degraded soils, leading to better soil aggregate structure (also affected by soil fungi) and...

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Helping your clients

An increasing number of farmers are seeking guidance on how to implement regenerative practices on their farms. Here are some tips on how you can help your clients: Connect your client to other farmers who have had success with the practice being considered; it is ideal if they are nearby but even another farmer...

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Communicating the essentials

There are so many choices with some regenerative practices that it can be a bit overwhelming for farmers and landowners alike. We suggest you work with your clients by starting simple, such as taking an individual field or pasture and doing some trials to see what works for them. Very importantly, connect your clients...

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