Opinion: Forced Regenerative Is Not The Answer
There are numerous examples of farmers finding benefits in regenerative agriculture practices, but it may not be a realistic solution for all farmers globally. Scotland native, Claire Taylor says we can look to history to see examples of when forcing practices leads to unintended consequences.
Taylor… “We've all jumped onto this idea that regen is fantastic, and obviously, we should all be wanting to regenerate our soils. But the thing that I warned in my column was that we don't want to be looking down on other people's practices. So just because I'm regen, that makes them degenerative. And that's the sort of narrative I want to move away from. Because, for example, if I give you what's happening in the UK after the second World War, farmers were literally paid to take out hedgerows. They were paid to farm right up to the edges of their fields. There would have been no buffer strip because at that point it was all about food security. So farmers incentivized absolutely really over cultivate the soils. But then, you know, we fast forward now and everybody's really focused on the environment and the opposite. They're being told you've got to plant more hedgerows. got to have buffer strips, wildlife corridors. You've got to really reinvigorate your soils, put more organic matter in. And it's like, you can't suddenly expect everybody to be able to do that overnight. And if we start saying, you know, you're a terrible farmer, here's an example of a brilliant farmer. You're not going to encourage, incentivize, or support that farmer on a journey to actually aim towards that.”
That’s Nuffield Scholar, Claire Taylor.