Our food system is on the frontline in the fight to curb climate change and conserve nature. Food generates one-third of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the United Nations identifies farming as the primary driver of biodiversity loss globally. But a suite of agricultural solutions already exists that can accelerate action towards GHG neutrality while protecting and restoring our natural ecosystems.
Regenerative agriculture is one approach that farmers are using in the effort to stem GHG emissions while addressing local environmental impacts. It includes management practices that replenish natural ecosystems rather than deplete them, and is informed by indigenous and traditional farming techniques. But what is the science behind regenerative agriculture and its role in reducing and sequestering GHGs?
This insight hour will explore the intersection of science and regenerative agriculture, with a particular focus on the dairy industry.
How can holistic management of soil health, nutrient cycling, water use and other factors help the dairy industry reduce GHG emissions, particularly of methane—which has roughly 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide? What are the limitations of regenerative farming? How can dairy farmers adopt science-based practices to cut emissions in a way that stimulates productivity and profitability? How are GHG-neutrality commitments from food companies changing behaviour among their suppliers? And finally, what other tools and technologies can dairy farmers use to reduce emissions?