EP36 Regenerative Potatoes

Potato farming isn’t exactly gentle on the land, so the idea of regenerative potato farming may seem like a contradiction. But Colorado-potato farmer Brendon Rockey has found a way to incorporate cover crops, companion crops and even livestock into his operation. Alberta rancher Steve Kenyon has a coffee shop-style chat with Brendon about everything from soil health, biodiversity, cover crops and the need for certain paradigm shifts in agriculture. Thank you to Gateway Research Organization (GRO) for providing us with this recording of Steve and Brandon’s conversation. Check out the rest of GRO’s Coffee Shop series on YouTube. Highlights: 12:00 – nutrient cycling and bringing in the neighbor’s cattle to graze off your cover crop. 22:00 – increasing plant diversity was the biggest positive change made at Rockey Farms. 39:40 – Brendon reveals his favourite potatoes. 45:00 – companion crops affecting the subtle flavours in beer (hint: companion crops planted with barely). 1:10 – is it time for the coffee shop to become the place where you actually want to bring your new ideas for your farm or ranch? Useful Links: Rockey Farms http://www.brendonrockey.com/rockey-farms.html Gateway Research Organization
RESEARCH LED BY FARMERS FOR FARMERS
Grazing and cover crops https://www.producer.com/crops/livestock-grazing-improves-economics-of-green-manure/ Green Manures
Module 3: Managing Green Manures
USDA scientist Jay Fuhrer
The five principles of soil health
Stripper Headers
Stripper headers could be on the way back
Land Institute
Kernza®

Want to learn more?

After listening to this episode, we recommend downloading Episode 33, Episode 22, Episode 20 and Episode 9 to learn more about regenerative agriculture in Alberta. We have some great regen ag reads on the Farmer’s Blog too!