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Una manera diferente de gestionar la tierra: que las vacas la apisonen

CANADIAN, Texas — Adam Isaacs estaba de pie al lado de su ganado en un viejo pastizal que durante años había tenido un pastoreo excesivo. Ahora, era un revoltijo de maleza.

“La mayoría de la gente quisiera venir y empezar a rociar herbicidas”, afirmó. “Mi familia solía hacerlo… y no funciona”.

En cambio, Isaacs, un ganadero perteneciente a la cuarta generación de estas tierras onduladas ubicadas en la franja noreste de Texas, pondrá a trabajar a sus animales en el pastizal mediante el uso de una cerca portátil electrificada con la que los confina en un área pequeña para que apisonen la maleza mientras pastan.

“Hacemos que el ganado pisotee mucho pastizal”, comentó. Eso incorpora materia orgánica al suelo y lo expone al oxígeno, cosa que ayuda a que se llene de hierbas y otras plantas útiles. A la larga, el pastizal volverá a estar saludable, gracias a un manejo esmerado y continuo del pastoreo.

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A Different Kind of Land Management: Let the Cows Stomp

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CANADIAN, Texas — Adam Isaacs stood surrounded by cattle in an old pasture that had been overgrazed for years. Now it was a jumble of weeds.

“Most people would want to get out here and start spraying it” with herbicides, he said. “My family used to do that. It doesn’t work.”

Instead, Mr. Isaacs, a fourth-generation rancher on this rolling land in the northeast corner of the Texas Panhandle, will put his animals to work on the pasture, using portable electrified fencing to confine them to a small area so that they can’t help but trample some of the weeds as they graze.

“We let cattle stomp a lot of the stuff down,” he said. That adds organic matter to the soil and exposes it to oxygen, which will help grasses and other more desirable plants take over. Eventually, through continued careful management of grazing, the pasture will be healthy again.

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How Regenerative Ag and Strip Grazing Improves Soil Health

Ray Archuleta talks about three basic concepts for soil health during an Illinois Conservation Cropping Seminar.

  • One: The soil is alive.

A living plant is one of the most powerful tools on the farm. Plants and microbes feed the soil ecosystem and improve the quality of life.

  • Two: Everything is connected.

If it isn’t understood how the soil, inputs, crops, and management practices are connected, then harm can come from using tools incorrectly.

  • Three: The goal is to emulate nature (or “biomimicry”).

While efficiency has been a No. 1 priority, now it is known that the best approach is to mimic the natural system.

Archuleta says while these seem simple, the most challenging obstacle to overcome when adopting these three concepts is your mind-set.

“Thanks to the years of information we gained from our schools, our grandparents, and from our local community, our mind-set is the most difficult thing to change on the farm. The soil is easy to fix. Our mind-set is not,” he says.

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Qué es la agricultura regenerativa y cuáles son sus ventajas

La agricultura regenerativa forma parte de la creciente atención por la producción de alimentos respetuosos con el medio ambiente, cada vez más apreciada por los consumidores.

La base de está idea es que el trabajo humano debe encajar de forma armoniosa y positiva en el equilibrio natural, sin explotar la naturaleza, trabajando para recuperar la fertilidad de la tierra.

Hoy hablamos de ¿Qué es la agricultura regenerativa y cuáles son sus ventajas?

Qué es la agricultura regenerativa.

Dentro de las filosofías relativas a la producción agroalimentaria, en los últimos años se ha consolidado la agricultura regenerativa, o agricultura orgánica-regenerativa, un método de reconversión que combina técnicas modernas y conocimientos ancestrales.

En la raíz de este enfoque está la idea de colaborar con la naturaleza -abandonando el deseo de dominarla- para regenerar el suelo, sin empobrecerlo ni contaminarlo, como en cambio ocurre cuando se aplica una agricultura intensiva muy agresiva, con el uso de fertilizantes, agroquímicos y grandes movimientos de tierras.

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Livestock’s Role in a Changing Climate

Edward Bork’s research surrounding how livestock grazing affects soil carbon has made him a believer in the beneficial role cattle can potentially play in a changing climate.

“Because their grazing contributes to the concentration of carbon in the soil – a helpful process – livestock can be a tool to help reduce atmospheric carbon and thus mitigate climate change,” says Bork, director of the Rangeland Research Institute, University of Alberta.

Cattle critics say otherwise, calling for decreases in numbers or even elimination of ruminants as a means of reducing the greenhouse gases contributing to climate change. They point to the methane cattle emit as a key polluter of the atmosphere. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that ruminants put out as part of their digestive process.

Bork calls for a balanced view, one that weighs the drawbacks against the benefits.

“Pointing the finger at methane emissions of livestock is a convenient excuse people use,” he says. “It’s a red herring to claim that cattle are destroying the planet and ignores the fact that these grasslands evolved with grazing – and even depend on it to exist.

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