As the population continues to grow to an expected 9.1 billion by 2050, the task of producing enough food, fuel, and fiber for the world is pressing. One challenge in this endeavor is the detrimental effects climate change has on the agriculture industry. Promoting sustainability and climate change mitigation, while increasing production significantly, is no easy task. Agriculture experts, ranchers, farmers and producers are turning to regenerative agriculture practices that focus on improving soil health, increasing biodiversity and sequestering carbon dioxide as a means of mitigating climate change. Sustainability and the Green Revolution 2.0 is no longer a want, but a necessity to meet the rising demand for food.
Water Use Efficiency
Climate change has caused severe droughts and unpredictable weather patterns worldwide. Water conservation and water use efficiency are crucial in mitigating the effects of climate change and managing water resources. Helping farmers learn how to farm in drier climates through regenerative practices is necessary. Irrigation systems using sensors conserve water by detecting exactly how much water a crop needs. Rainwater harvesting collects water for reuse, and it also protects plants from weather events that may damage topsoil. As regenerative agriculture focuses on improving soil health, less water is required for crops. These practices, and the regenerative agriculture mindset optimizes water use as well as improves water quality, which is a key to climate change mitigation.
Soil health is crucial in mitigating climate change and increasing production. Regenerative agriculture practices related to managing soil health include maximizing living roots, minimizing disturbance, maximizing soil cover and biodiversity. One practice for maintaining a healthy soil is to practice no tillage. Benefits of practicing no tillage include more organic matter retention, cycling nutrients and increasing the amount of water in soil. Using cover crops enhances soil health by protecting the soil and sequestering carbon. Soil health plays a major role in climate change mitigation with healthy soils that are sustainably managed through these practices.
Inputs and Biodiversity
As regenerative agriculture practices are implemented, the soil becomes healthier, which requires inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides to be adjusted. Prioritizing a healthy soil and using less inputs produces less pollution as a natural outcome of prioritizing healthy soil. These regenerative agriculture farming practices also naturally increase biodiversity. Maximizing biodiversity is vital to increasing organic matter and helping the overall ecosystem optimally perform. A well-operating ecosystem is more equipped to adjust to climate change and cope with its impacts.
Farmers, ranchers, agriculture businesses, producers, consumers and other stakeholders play important roles in mitigating climate change. Keeping the world's soil healthy and implementing regenerative practices such as no till, cover crops and nutrient adjustment are key. While regenerative agriculture practices are important, they alone are not the answer to combating rising climate challenges. The Green Revolution 2.0 requires an all-encompassing contribution to climate change mitigation and building a sustainable and productive future.