FPJ1802 – Dempster, F, Davies, S, Gazey, C, Pia Piggott, P & Kragt, M (2021), Will regenerative agriculture disrupt industry practice?

FPJ1802 – Dempster, F, Davies, S, Gazey, C, Pia Piggott, P & Kragt, M (2021), Will regenerative agriculture disrupt industry practice?

‘Regenerative’ farming is gaining attention, particularly of policy makers and not-for-profits who increasingly direct funding to support regenerative agriculture (RA) initiatives. RA practitioners have been referred to as ‘disruptors’ – farmers who introduce new processes, challenging traditional practices and creating new markets. We review the range of practices that could be considered regenerative, and show that some of those are already firmly embedded in conventional farming practices.

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‘Regenerative’ farming is gaining attention, particularly of policy makers and not-for-profits who increasingly direct funding to support regenerative agriculture (RA) initiatives.
RA practitioners have been referred to as ‘disruptors’ – farmers who introduce new processes, challenging traditional practices and creating new markets. We review the range of practices that could be considered regenerative, and show that some of those are already firmly embedded in conventional farming practices (e.g minimum or no-till particularly in Western Australia). New market opportunities (with price premiums) may provide some disruptive advantage to regenerative farmers – at least whilst the commodity remains in small supply. In addition, regenerative farmers often report higher levels of personal wellbeing and more enjoyment from farming. If regenerative practices can yield such benefits, why has RA not been more widely embraced?
The science is yet to demonstrate how long it takes until, or indeed if a regenerative system can match or beat the profits generated with a conventional system. Despite the potential to generate innovative and sustainable agricultural systems, there remain social-cultural and economic barriers to adoption.

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Published 21 Dec 2022

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