Sustainable farming is at the heart of Dairy Group’s mission. Regenerative farming is one of the ways sustainable practices can be implemented on dairy farms. Its methods facilitate the protection and development of land, animals and biodiversity on farms. Instead of just using tools and implementing methods to manage the effects of climate change, farmers are regenerating ecological systems in an effort, not only to conserve, but to nurture and develop.
Regenerative agriculture has been around for centuries and is based on farming methods that were developed before modern farming methods took over. It consists of a holistic approach to farming that acknowledges and prioritises the interconnection between farming systems and the environment.
Regenerative farming consists of five main principles:
- Minimising soil disturbances
- Increasing soil coverage with vegetation
- Fostering ecosystem diversity
- Protecting roots to stabilise the soil
- Integrating animals into the regeneration process
All of these principles are geared towards increasing the biodiversity, fostering ecosystems, and ensuring the long-term conservation of our farms. By increasing vegetation, using animals in the regeneration process, and ensuring that the soil is stable, these practices inevitably bring more nutrients to the soil which reduces the need for fertilisers and reduces the amount of waste produced.
Regenerative farming practices
There are several methods that can be used to implement regenerative farming into our agricultural sector. The goal is to increase biodiversity and restore the land instead of depleting it.
– Low-till farming: Adjusting farming practices to reduce the amount of soil disturbance means that the soil’s ability to retain water improves, nutrients remain in the soil, and more vegetation grow to diversify the land.
– Soil management: By managing the soil and ensuring root structures remain solid and in place, the soil retain more water and remains stable enough for dairy farming.
– Rotational grazing: Moving animals to graze in different areas allows the land to regenerate and prevents soil erosion which also ends up saving the farm money and time in the long run.
How can regenerative farming help?
Many people brush sustainable practices off as they seem like more effort than they are worth. The truth is that practices like regenerative farming not only ensure the success and survival of farms in the long run, but they also increase farming productivity, make life easier for the cattle, and establish nutrient rich soil. When farms prioritise sustainability, they reap the benefits of these practices, which include higher milk yields and superior milk quality.