Will widespread adoption of regenerative agriculture automatically lead to the rejuvenation of rural communities? Derek, Director of Rural Route to Climate Solutions, shares the insights he’s gained while travelling Canada, interviewing agricultural producers about regenerative agriculture.
Have you ever found yourself scratching your head trying to make sense of all those terms like polycultures, cocktail crops, intercropping, cover crops, companion cropping, and relay crops? It’s understandable! They all seem to be part of the vast landscape of good land stewardship practices, like sustainable agriculture, organic agriculture, agroecology, permaculture, and regenerative agriculture. Oh, and let’s not forget our personal favorite—agricultural climate solutions. But here’s the thing: are these different systems truly distinct, or are they more closely related than we think?
Join Rural Routes to Climate Solutions and the Data is Beautiful Initiative of the Regenerative Agriculture Lab as we discuss how regenerative agriculture practices can benefit you and your soils.
Join Rural Routes to Climate Solutions and the Train the Healer Initiative of the Regenerative Agriculture Lab in a hands-on polyculture learning opportunity.
For the remainder of the Getting Through Drought series, we’ll mainly be focusing on grazing management and adjusting grazing during a drought. To start things off, ranchers Blusette and Mark Campbell, out in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan joined us to share some of what they’ve learned about grazing and herd management.
In recent years, mycorrhizal fungi have become a hot topic, especially when talking about soil health.
Mycorrhizal fungi are vast networks of nutrient exchange between plants and other microscopic critters you can find in the soil. Fortunately, the management practices for maintaining this conduit of nutrient exchange tend to be the same ones we’d use in good pasture management.
Can this vast network under our feet help out calf-cow producers in a dry year?
Riparian areas can be a value-added project of the wetlands on your land if you choose to leave your wetlands intact. The wetland itself is great for maintaining the water table and can become an important source of water for your cattle.
In this episode, you’ll be hearing from Art Goerzen of Adullam Ranch to get an additional perspective on why riparian areas can be handy in times of drought.
You could argue that compared to other livestock, cattle are pretty simple to feed – get them grazing during the growing season and feed them bales in the winter. However, this relatively simple feeding system begins to fall apart when you get hit by a drought; forage isn’t growing in your pasture and the price of hay goes through the roof. During a dry year, you might want to look into alternatives to hay that can help your cattle get the baseline nutrition they need and get you and your ranch through the year.
In this episode, we are joined by Barry Yaremcio of Yaremcio Ag Consulting Ltd to learn more about feed alternatives.
If you manage them properly, riparian areas can be a savings account that you can tap into during a dry year. There are plenty of good reasons for fencing off and protecting bodies of water on your land, like giving biodiversity a boost or keeping water clean for livestock. Not to mention how handy that strip of greenery adjacent to a wetland can be when your pasture isn’t growing or recovering the way you need it to. In this episode, we’re joined by Duane Movald of Movald Ranches, to learn more about managing and stewarding riparian areas.
When it comes to soil amendments, charcoal is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But if you really think about it, charcoal is carbon that’s been locked up, in the same way that coal is carbon, perfectly sequestered. There’s a catch – you can’t burn it. But if we can’t burn it, how do we activate the carbon in biochar?
In this episode, Rob Lavoie of AirTerra helps us understand how to unlock that carbon and feed those hungry little soil microbes that feed us.