Varsha Sivagurunathan

Unconventional techniques can sequester carbon while improving the soil. A look into Canada’s advancements in regenerative farming techniques and their positive impacts.

Regenerative agriculture is a conservation and rehabilitation approach to food and farming systems. It focuses on topsoil regeneration, increasing biodiversity [2], improving the water cycle [3], enhancing ecosystem services, supporting biosequestration [4], increasing resilience to climate change, and strengthening the health and vitality of farm soil. 

The agricultural sector is responsible for 18.4% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions [1]. As part of Canada’s strategy to address climate change, the government earmarked $270 million in its federal budget (April 2021) to support agriculture and climate-smart solutions, including regenerative farming. Farmers in Canada have found that by adopting a series of regenerative farming techniques, farmers can reduce agricultural emissions while simultaneously improving soil health. 

It can take up to a decade to see the benefits of regenerative farming and carbon sequestration, and the practice has remained a relatively fringe approach to agriculture until recently. But a growing body of research is showing its effectiveness in reducing agricultural emissions and improving the soil. With the average Canadian's carbon footprint as 15.6 tonnes annually [5], some farmers are sequestering enough carbon to more than offset 400 Canadians' footprint per year.

With many companies now putting their offset budgets into regenerative farming projects, it has become increasingly important to understand this step towards the right direction in the action for managing climate change impacts. 

[For more information please refer to original article by Mia Sheldom]


1.  Hannah Ritchie and Max Roser (2020) - "CO₂ and Greenhouse Gas Emissions". Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: 'https://ourworldindata.org/co2-and-other-greenhouse-gas-emissions' [Online Resource]

2. "Our Sustainable Future - Regenerative Ag Description". csuchico.edu. Retrieved 2017-03-09.

3. Underground, The Carbon; Initiative, Regenerative Agriculture; CSU (2017-02-24). "What is Regenerative Agriculture?". Regeneration International. Retrieved 2017-03-09.

4. Teague, W. R.; Apfelbaum, S.; Lal, R.; Kreuter, U. P.; Rowntree, J.; Davies, C. A.; Conser, R.; Rasmussen, M.; Hatfield, J.; Wang, T.; Wang, F. (2016-03-01). "The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint in North America". Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 71 (2): 156–164. doi:10.2489/jswc.71.2.156. ISSN 0022-4561

5. Sheldon, M. 2021  How regenerative farming could help Canada meet its new carbon emission targets.


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