Alex Boersch, who farms 5,000 acres near Elie, Man., is practicing organic and regenerative agriculture on his cropland. He was a featured speaker at the 2020 Prairie Organics conference, held early March in Brandon | Robert Arnason photo

What is the difference between organics and regenerative ag?

The brands, labels and words surrounding organic and regenerative farming have become confusing. Consumers likely have many unanswered questions: is regenerative better than organic? Which one is better for the environment and human health? Is there a real difference? It has also become perplexing for growers who want to tap into the alternative food markets. […] Read more

Gillian Flies of The New Farm in Ontario is optimistic that small regenerative practices can have big economic benefits because they could help stem wet and dry spells.  |  the New Farm photo

Is regenerative the next ‘sustainable?’

KELOWNA, B.C. — During a first-of-its kind conference in Kelowna earlier this year, producers, soil health experts and advocates gathered to discuss the future of farming. The First Canadian Summit on Climate Action in Food Systems focused on regenerative agriculture, looking at how farmers can be part of the solution in helping mitigate climate change. […] Read more

North Peace Applied Research Association manager Nora Paulovich and research co-ordinator Tom Fromme inspect crops on the research site.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Alberta research group focuses on soil health

The North Peace Applied Research Association encourages producers to look at regenerative agricultural practices

MANNING, Alta. — A northern Alberta research group is on the front lines of soil health, showing producers alternative methods to improve the land. Nora Paulovich and Tom Fromme of the North Peace Applied Research Association (NPARA) dedicate much of their site for testing soil health, encouraging producers to look into regenerative practices. “This is […] Read more

Kris Nichols, founder and principal scientist with KRIS Systems, led a soil health workshop in Manning, Alta., in early June.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Expert encourages regenerative practices

Kris Nichols says conventional farmers have no excuses, suggesting time is running out to adapt to a changing climate

MANNING, Alta. — Soil health expert Kris Nichols says now is the time for producers to implement regenerative practices, suggesting it will help ensure farms remain productive in the long-run. Speaking in Manning during a soil health workshop in early June, Nichols said people are running out of time to adapt with the changing climate, […] Read more

Cattle at Steve Sickle’s farm near St George, Ont., thrive in his rotational pasture system, where they are moved to fresh grass every day. This year heavy rain has produced lush amounts of grass that is growing faster than the cows can eat it.  |  Barbara Duckworth photo

Cattle play major role on Ontario grain farm

Producer receives environmental stewardship award for the work he has done in crop and pasture management

ST GEORGE, ONT. — Steve Sickle is a life-long learner when it comes to managing crops and pasture. One of the things he has learned is that cattle and cropland go together. Beef Farmers of Ontario agrees with his theories and named him its 2019 environmental stewardship award winner. Sickle said the award caught him […] Read more

Regenerative agriculture is a set of practices that improves soil health and increases productivity by using cover crops, minimal tillage, permanent land cover and integrating livestock into the farm.
 | Screencap via

Organic certification takes the next step

The Regenerative Organic Certified standard was created in the U.S. partly as a way to deal with tillage in organic farming

Regenerative Organic Certified is a mouthful and possibly a bit confusing. But the standard and its brand, an R and an O in a circle with an arrow pointing to a plant, could become a familiar logo on grocery store shelves. The Rodale Institute, an organic research group based in Pennsylvania, created the RO label […] Read more

Over the last three to five years, soil health has become a major point of discussion in North American agriculture. | File photo

General Mills program takes aim at soil health

General Mills wants to change the world, through better soil health. This morning the maker of Cheerios and Nature Valley granola bars, announced plans to promote regenerative agriculture in North America and around the world. The company plans to partner with organic and conventional farmers to increase the adoption of cover crops, diverse crop rotations, […] Read more

At the centre of regenerative ag is a belief that healthy soil reduces dependence on crop inputs.
 | File photo

The fifth revolution

BRANDON — In the early 1980s, zero tillage was just underway in Canada. A small band of progressive farmers had stopped tilling their land but the majority of growers were still turning the soil black. By 2011, everything changed. More than 56 percent of Canadian farmland was seeded without tillage and 25 percent was managed […] Read more

Nancy Hewlett hurls a heavy slab of sprouted barley to feed her hens and roosters on the Sage Creek Permaculture farm.  |  Jeremy Simes photo

Alta. farm champions regenerative agriculture

A fodder system allows cattle on the Sage Creek Permaculture farm to eat 100 percent grass all year round

AIRDRIE, Alta. — Nancy Hewlett hurls a heavy slab of sprouted barley into the pig pen. She then moves to the chickens, chucking in another slab. The animals devour it almost instantly. The grass slabs, known as fodder, are constantly growing on the Hewlett’s farm, Sage Creek Permaculture, near Airdrie, Alta. She and her husband, […] Read more