Letter to the editor: Using regenerative agriculture to improve health of the planet
Climate change threatens our earth and quality of life. We must stop the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere so levels don’t increase, and we need to draw down high levels already there.
A potential solution for carbon sequestration is regenerative agriculture: holistic land-management practices that rely on plant photosynthesis to sequester carbon deep into the soil. This practice builds soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density, making pesticides and fertilizers unnecessary. Regenerative agriculture also restores the availability of topsoil, which is rapidly disappearing through global desertification. Estimates are that all the world’s topsoil, essential for growing food, will be gone within 60 years.
Regenerative agriculture also includes well-managed livestock-grazing practices among fields, further increasing soil fertility, insect and plant biodiversity, and carbon sequestration. These grazing practices also enhance the health of the livestock, compared to livestock raised in feed lots.
To learn more about how regenerative agriculture sequesters carbon and restores soil health, watch the enlightening documentary available on Netflix, “Kiss the Ground.” Colorado is embracing regenerative agriculture! Check the internet for how you can support local farming and sustainably produced meat from Colorado with your purchasing power.
Regenerative agriculture practices are readily adaptable to small farms. However, large-scale agriculture in the United States must also transition to regenerative practices, which will require government support. The government pays billions of dollars in subsidies to farmers to compensate for losses due to the trade war with China, extreme weather events and the pandemic. A more sustainable way to help the farmers might be subsidies for transitioning to regenerative agriculture on a large scale. How we grow our food and raise our livestock can make a huge difference in our health and the health of our planet.
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