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REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE BAG314

Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Learn how to Improve Degraded Farmland

Practice Farm Regeneration. A win-win strategy for the environment, farm profitability, asset improvement and all round sustainability.

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Learn Farm Regeneration Principles and Practice

A win-win strategy for the environment, farm profitability, asset improvement and all round sustainability.

Course Content

This course is spread over ten lessons as follows:

1. Scope and Nature of Regenerative Agriculture

  • Environmental impacts of traditional agriculture
  • Pollution - land and water
  • Greenhouse gas emissions
  • Decreased biodiversity
  • Why regenerative agriculture matters
  • Sustainable agriculture versus regenerative agriculture
  • Principles of Regenerative Agriculture
  • Corporate initiatives

2. Functional and Integrative Level Systems

  • Functional regenerative agriculture
  • Improving soil health
  • Soil microbiome and soil health
  • Regenerative practices
  • Cover crops
  • Zero tilling
  • Rotating crops
  • Organic composts
  • Synthetic inputs
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Organic carbon
  • Integrative regenerative agriculture
  • Design and redesign
  • Permaculture ideas embedded in a system of regeneration
  • Energy flow
  • Imbalances
  • Wildlife habitat considerations
  • Increasing biodiversity
  • Increase biodiversity below ground
  • Increase biodiversity above ground

3. Integrative and Evolutionary Level Systems

  • Introduction
  • Systemic level
  • Case study
  • Humans in the ecosystem
  • Social impact
  • Antifragility concept
  • Adaptive and agile
  • Creating a microclimate
  • Capital inputs
  • Evolutionary level
  • Storying land
  • Supply chains/ Supply webs
  • Supply webs and big agriculture
  • Defining a bioregion
  • Defining an agroecosystem
  • Connect the land to its larger agroecosystem and bioregion

4. System Inputs: Climate, Topography, Nutrients

  • Climate
  • Pressure, temperature, rainfall
  • Soils and climate
  • Topography - soils and slopes
  • Broad ranging topography
  • Soils and parent material
  • Soils and nutrition
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Ammonification
  • Nitrification
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Fertilisers - synthetic, organic
  • Organic materials
  • Plant material
  • Dead animals
  • Manure
  • Garbage
  • Hay, straw, paper, sawdust
  • Carbon
  • Biochar
  • Mineralisation
  • Chemoautotrophic organisms

5. Soils and Soil Regeneration

  • Introduction
  • Soil types
  • Soil classification
  • Soil horizons
  • Organic matter
  • Soil absorption
  • Soil desorption
  • Introduction to soil health
  • Presence of organic matter
  • Facilitate water resilience
  • Permeability
  • Balance & Diversity in the microbiome
  • Life forms
  • Monocultures and threat to soil and crop health
  • Approaches to regenerate soil and improve soil health
  • Cover crops
  • Limited disturbance - no or low tillage
  • Controlled traffic farming
  • Carbon retention

6. Livestock and Grazing Management

  • Introduction
  • Integrating livestock
  • Habitat restoration
  • Assisting carbon sequestration through grazing and increasing photosynthesis
  • Pest control
  • Reducing impacts - soil compaction, tillage, animal control
  • Effects of regenerative grazing on biodiversity
  • Challenges
  • Compaction
  • Aquaculture
  • Regenerative grazing management
  • Rotational grazing
  • Orchard grazing
  • Holistic planned management
  • Organic livestock management
  • Complimentary Grazing

7. Agroforestry and Silvopasture

  • Introduction to agroforestry
  • Incorporating trees and perennials
  • Benefits of agroforestry
  • Silvopasture
  • Silvoarable
  • Value of trees in agriculture
  • Carbon sinks
  • Carbon credits
  • Agroforestry and regenerative agriculture
  • Erosion control
  • Lowering water tables
  • Windbreaks
  • Timber, firewood
  • Fodder
  • Honey production
  • Wildlife habitats
  • Firebreaks
  • Increased rainfall
  • Challenges of agroforestry in regenerative agriculture
  • Financial considerations

8. System Outputs: Social, Economic and Global Trends

  • Sustainability and maintenance
  • Potential outcomes of regenerative agriculture
  • Physical outcomes
  • Increase crop health and resilience
  • Improve soil health
  • Create circular system
  • Carbon sequestration
  • Improve social and economic wellbeing of communities
  • Improve food nutritional quality and human health
  • Food access and security
  • Improving food safety
  • Increasing farm profitability
  • Socio economic communities influencing adoption of agroforestry
  • Carbon economics

9. Implementation and Whole Farm Planning

  • Implementing a regenerative agriculture system
  • Assessing natural components
  • Analysis and planning
  • Topsoil
  • Water
  • Determining business opportunities
  • Developing a business case
  • Cash flow
  • High cash flow crops
  • Long term crops
  • Cash flow concerns
  • Marketing direct to the customer
  • Organic vs non organic
  • Support and funding
  • Goal setting and planning
  • Introducing and monitoring change & Project Management
  • Benefits of Sustainable change
  • What factors impact on sustainability goals
  • Project managing regenerative agriculture

10. Special Project (PBL) Regenerative Agricultural Enterprise Proposal

Lesson Aims

  • Discuss the scope and nature of different regenerative agriculture initiatives. 
  • Describe key components of functional and integrative level regenerative systems. 
  • Describe key components of systemic and evolutionary level regenerative systems. 
  • Describe agricultural system inputs and their effects. 
  • Describe soil types and soil regeneration practices. 
  • Explain how livestock is utilised in agricultural regeneration and discuss associated animal management processes. 
  • Explain the significance of agroforestry in regenerative agriculture and describe practices of silvopasture
  • Explain outcomes of agricultural regeneration in relation to social and economic well-being whilst acknowledging global trends. 
  • Describe implementation of regenerative agricultural systems in business, demonstrate critical thinking and decision making in farming.  
  • Examine a hypothetical farming scenario and propose strategies underpinned by regenerative agricultural principles. 

 

WHY REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE?

While there are several negative impacts in agriculture production, agriculture can also positively impact the environment, for instance by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils or mitigating flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices. This is where regenerative agriculture comes into focus.

Regenerative agriculture is a system of farming principle and practices that increases biodiversity, enriches soils, improves watersheds, and enhances ecosystem services. Regenerative agriculture aims to capture carbon and aboveground biomass, reversing current global trends of atmospheric accumulations. At the same time, it offers increased yields, resilience to climate instability, and higher health and vitality for farming and ranching communities. The system draws from decades of scientific and applied research by the global communities of organic farming, agroecology, holistic management, and agroforestry. 

  • Specific examples of practices in regenerative agriculture include: 
  • The use of cover crops 
  • The use of organic waste and compost 
  • Managing soils health through crop rotations and perennial crop production
  • Planting grass coverage as crop buffers 
  • Implementing agroforestry practices 
  • Following a program of rotational grazing 
  • Integrating silvopasture 
  • Securing natural assets on farmlands 

The challenge of ensuring global food security for a growing population while improving environmental performance will require raising the environmental and resource productivity of agriculture, enhancing land management practices, and managing some of the negative impacts of current agricultural practices. 

 
Courses can be started anytime from anywhere in the world!