Farmer Jim Chamberlin takes a deep dive into regenerative agriculturte and the five soil heralth principles this guest blog, writing, "Done well agriculture heals our land, our water and our communities."
Agricultural runoff can destroy lake and river systems with siltation, and chemical surges causing algae blooms, unnatural growth of aquatic plants, decreased oxygen levels and impacts to drinking water.
But runoff is also bad for farmers. Heavily impacted fields infiltrate less water, requiring more irrigation during dry times and flooding during wetter periods. Unhealthy soils require expensive inputs of tilling, herbicide, fundicide and chemical fertilizers.
A growing number of farmers are practicing regenerative agriculture, with a focus on farming in a way that increases soil health. The costs of inputs falls, yields rise and runoff pollution is greatly reduced. But what is regenerative agriculture, and what are the five soil health principles?