Authors: Austin Badger, Taylor Herren and Betsy Taylor | Published: July 2018
1) Australia’s Coalition Government is investing $450 million in a Regional Land
Partnership program and $134 million in Smart Farms program to improve soil health
2) The Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched a scale-out plan to transition 6
million farms/farmers to 100% chemical-free agriculture by 2024. The programme is a
contribution towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on ‘No Poverty’,
‘Clean Water and Sanitation’, ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’, and ‘Life on
Land’. It is led by Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS) – a not-for-profit established by the
Government to implement the ZBNF programme – and supported by the Sustainable
India Finance Facility (SIFF) – an innovative partnership between UN Environment,
BNP Paribas, and the World Agroforestry Centre.
3) The U.S. Climate Alliance in partnership with the Working Lands Initiative convened a
consortium of large land conservation, forestry, and agricultural organizations at a
“Learning Lab” in July. Over 50 technical experts across industry, academia, and
government worked together to draft guiding principles that state governments can use
to develop strategies, policies, and funding initiatives to draw down carbon from the
atmosphere and sequester it in the soils across farms, rangelands, forests, and
wetlands. Read More
4) A new bill will be brought before the UK parliament this year mandating, for the first
time, measures and targets to preserve and improve the health of the UK’s soils.
5) The Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand is ramping up its work to promote
healthy soils. See here
6) Zimbabwe has passed 3 recent policies related to climate and agriculture, focused
particularly on coping with less rainfall in the region.
7) Luca Montanarella with the European Commission shared this new organic production
and labelling of organic products regulation in the EU: The Regulation (EU) 2018/848 of
the European Parliament was passed on May 30, 2018
8) Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet recently introduced the Conservation for Very
Erodible Row Cropland Act of 2018 (COVER Act) to promote soil health practices in
conservation programs. The bill would incentivize and develop farm practices that
improve soil health, enhance farm resilience, and increase carbon storage, while
boosting farm incomes.
9) Bringing Farmers Back to Nature: 70 countries gathered in Rome recently to discuss
how agroecology can create a healthy more sustainable food system. Countries around
the globe are already investing millions to make this change happen.
11) Silvopasture is gaining a lot of attention as a powerful way to integrate trees, agriculture and soil carbon sequestration. Chelsea Green Publishing just released a new book: A Guide to Managing Grazing Animals, Forage Crops, and Trees in a Temperate Farm Ecosystem.
12) There are many farming networks in the US and globally. Farmer peer to peer learning and field schools are often at the heart of changing practices. The Land Stewardship Project is working in conservative areas to support farmer networks and the Soil Builders program.
13) Holistic Management International provides training programs and support to farmers and ranchers working to build healthy soils. Check out their events and training
14) Danone is promoting regenerative agriculture through incentives and investment in
farmers. Learn more here.
15) One of the principles supporting healthy soils and SOC storage is diversification of our agricultural systems. A recent paper looked at plant diversity on the land. Ecosystem
management that maintains high levels of plant diversity can enhance SOC storage and
other ecosystem services that depend on plant diversity.
16) This is a grass-fed beef study that demonstrates soil carbon sequestration from grazing that completely offsets the greenhouse gas cost of beef (in the finishing stage).
Adaptive multi-paddock grazing can sequester large amounts of soil C.
17) A study has found that increased drought and wildfire risk make grasslands and
rangelands a more reliable carbon sink than trees in 21st century California. As such,
the study indicates they should be given opportunities in the state’s cap-and-and trade
market, which is designed to reduce California’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40
percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
18) Rice is cultivated as a major crop in most Asian countries and its production is expected to increase to meet the demands of a growing population. This study looked at rice production and how to both reduce emissions and capture carbon in Bangladesh rice
paddies. It concluded that under integrated management, it is possible to increase
SOC stocks on average by 1.7% per year in rice paddies in Bangladesh, which is nearly
4 times the rate of change targeted by the “4 per mille” initiative arising from the Paris
19) Klaus Lorenz and Rattan Lal of Ohio State have published a book on soil carbon
sequestration and agricultural systems. They attended the Paris carbon sequestration
conference in May 2017. “Carbon sequestration in Agricultural Ecosystems”
20) Whendee Silver of University California Berkeley wrote an interesting blog about
whether soil carbon sequestration can help cool the planet. This was written for a
general rather than scientific audience Can Soil Carbon Sequestration Affect Global
21) The arid west of the United States is changing due to climate change. The Agricultural
Climate Network helps monitor and conduct research to share findings on how to help
Adaptation and Agriculture:
22) The Institute for Trade & Agriculture Policy released a new report about state policies
and plans in the United States to make agriculture more resilient in the face of climate
23) The Soil Carbon Coalition has a new prize for carbon farmers. The Soil Carbon
Challenge is an international (and localized) prize competition to see how fast land
managers can turn atmospheric carbon into soil organic matter. This coalition seeks to
“to advance the practice, and spread awareness of the opportunity, of turning
atmospheric carbon into living landscapes and soil carbon.”
24) This article by Marcia Delonge of the Union of Concerned Scientists speaks to the link between regenerative agriculture and farm resilience.
25) Politico says regenerative agriculture is the next big thing.
Workshops and Conferences:
26) No Till on the Plains is attracting a huge audience to its summer and winter
conferences. Their next gathering to celebrate and learn about farm management
practices to build healthy soils will be in January.
27) Regeneration Midwest held a lively conference in Chicago to begin forming a 12 state
coalition promoting regenerative agriculture.
28) The FAO recently held workshops in Latin America with a focus on development and
strengthening of soil statistics and indicators for decision making and planning.
29) Healthy Soils Institute is holding a national conference on soils in November, 2018
30) Roots of Resilience will hold a grazing conference in March, 2019
31) The 5th Annual Conference on Plant and Soil Science will be held in London in
32) The RockGroup is offering 12 internships for students interested in regenerative
33) The Regeneration Academy offers internships in regenerative agriculture on a farm in Spain.