Regenerative Grazing Improves Soil Health and Plant Biodiversity

Published on: November 28, 2016

Regenerative practices improve soil quality and pasture diversity, as the European LIFE Regen Farming project, due to end this year, has shown. The last few decades have seen the gradual abandoning of grazing practices in many livestock systems, as the problems of sustainability have become increasingly clear. Likewise, the growing environmental concern and the need to produce quality food in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way are shaping the agri-food sector as a key sector. The LIFE Regen Farming project, developed under these premises, seeks to determine the viability of regenerative practices as an alternative for the sustainability of livestock farms.

The regenerative management put into practice in the three areas in the study—on NEIKER land in Arkaute, INTIA land in Roncesvalles (Navarre), and in Orduña, on commercial farms with pastures used by beef cattle—was based on direct sowing using perennial and leguminous species, organic fertiliser from the farm itself and grazing schemes adapted to each farm.

These pasture management techniques produced 10 to 15 percent more grass. The production of more grass reduces the need to purchase fodder and highlights the technical and economic effectiveness of regenerative management. Furthermore, the sheep managed under regenerative grazing have the same milk yields and composition, so the flock’s production parameters were not altered.