How Can Regenerative Ag Impact Farmers, Food?
Hundreds of farmers, scientists and many others filed into the Tri-Cities last week for the 2023 Soilcraft Regenerative Ag Conference. But what is Regen Ag, and how does it play into the ongoing conversation of climate smart farming, carbon sequestration, etc. Trent Graybill, agronomist and owner of Soilcraft, said it’s about the farming community fixing what was broken in the past.
“There was kind of a buzzword quite a few years ago about Sustainable Agriculture, and kind of where the Regenerative work came from is; why would we want to regenerate something that's decayed or decrepit or sick? And so we don't want to sustain something that is not healthy the idea is we need to regenerate our some of our soils, our cropping systems, we have you know so many issues when it comes to pesticide resistance, and all these types of things that we deal with as growers.”
Graybill noted that in many ways, Regen Ag is about farmers looking at how production and soil maintenance were done generations ago. And he said that becomes very obvious when farm country looks at the Epigenetics and the impact that has on today’s farmer.
“So much of agriculture is, you know, basically putting so much energy into ‘we got to modify the crops, we need to genetically engineer the crops’ to resist the disease or whatever it is. When the problem is not the genetics of that plant, while genetics are extremely important, we can do phenomenal things with genetics," Graybill noted. "The problem is the environment. The outside potential because where those plants grow, the environments that they're in, directly determines how those genes are able to express themselves you can take the same variety same crop plant one over here in this environment, and one over here and you might think that its two different varieties.”
Graybill added it’s very important for the farming community to also look at the cause of many of today’s issues in farming, rather than focusing on the cure.
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