An Environmental Article from All-Creatures.org



Sustainable and Regenerative Agriculture Ten Principles of Practice

From StockfreeFarming.org
April 2024


Sustainable and regenerative agriculture describes an agricultural system that meets the basic needs of a population indefinitely by utilising resources at a replenishable rate and adopting regenerative agricultural practices which do not compromise the continued viability of the agricultural system and the wider human, social, economic, and environmental systems in which it resides.

stockfree farming

Sustainable agriculture and regenerative agriculture are two different but overlapping concepts. Therefore, it is important to define both separately and then a combined definition can be reached, and best practices can be listed.

Sustainable agriculture can be defined as a system that meets the basic needs of a population indefinitely because it utilises resources at a replenishable rate, and the agricultural practices used do not compromise the continued viability of the agricultural system and the wider human, social, economic, and environmental system in which it sits.

Regenerative agriculture describes a soil-focused approach to agriculture which aims to increase carbon drawdown (combating climate change), (re)build soil health and fertility, improve the water cycle, and enhance the health and resilience of biodiversity and ecosystems. To achieve these aims, the following practices or principles are often followed: no-/minimum-tillage, continuous soil coverage, maintaining living roots in the soil, rotating crops, and growing a diversity of crops. Regenerative principles are generally associated with agriculture but could be applied to other types of land use. It should also be noted that sustainable agriculture is regenerative by definition because if it did not incorporate regenerative principles, it would not be sustainable.

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Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE, including:

  1. A sustainable farm or croft should work within a closed-loop system as much as possible,
  2. Resources should be used efficiently so that agricultural outputs are produced with minimal inputs.
  3. Long-term soil fertility should be sought through practices like minimal/no-tillage, continuous soil coverage, adding/retaining organic matter, green manures, maintaining living roots in soils, and the recycling of agricultural outputs
  4. Agricultural practices which are polluting in any way should be avoided as much as possible
  5. Food produced by agricultural systems should be of high nutritional quality and of a sufficient quantity to feed a population.
  6. Finite inputs like fossil fuels and other mineral resources (e.g. NPK fertilisers) should be kept to a minimum.
  7. The farming system must be economically viable, providing a fair livelihood and good living conditions for all agricultural workers
  8. Regional processing, distribution and marketing of agricultural products should be prioritised.
  9. Areas of wildlife habitat should be preserved, created, and restored.
  10. The system must be humanly and ethically just and sustainable
Food production for an exclusively plant-based diet is linked to the lowest land-use, water-use and biodiversity loss when compared with other dietary patterns:
water usage

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