The Farming Social Hub - a voice for the farming community

Tread carefully when it comes to regenerative ag

Regenerative agriculture means many things to many people. However, it is generally thought to be a ‘good thing’, with the general public and many of the farming community equating it with good soil health and careful land management principles.

However, at a meeting of the Worshipful Company of Farmers Alumni Learning Day, a stark warning was issued urging farmers to tread cautiously before heading down the regenerative ag route.

Quoted in the Farmers Weekly, Carl Atkin of Terravost suggested the term “regenerative farming” has been hijacked.

‘The hype is ahead of the science,’ he said. ‘There’s no robust scientific analysis or economic evidence to support many of the claims. All farming methods work by manipulating biological systems, and the key to any change is to understand your starting point.’

In line with many guests on the Farming Social Hub podcast, the main message from the Learning Day was that UK agriculture needed to balance food production with society’s concerns.

Speaking up for regenerative agriculture practices, Caroline Drummond, CEO of LEAF, said: ‘Becoming more sustainable lets us deliver improved outcomes. It’s not a competition, it’s a must. We call it integrated farm management.”

Modern technology allows farmers to accelerate sustainability improvements, she added.

‘Good farming practice is based on an integrated approach – no farm is dealing with a single issue in isolation, which is why technology can help.’

It is a debate we will keep going back to, so check out updates to the story here and tune into the Farming Social Hub podcast to hear all the views from the farming community.