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Regenerative farming

The potential of Regenerative Farming

Regenerative farming seeks to address a variety of issues: the historical global decline in soil stocks and fertility; carbon and nitrogen sequestration to regulate the climate; terrestrial biodiversity and water quality. In addition, it offers increased agricultural productivity with social benefits. 

FixOurFood is exploring examples of regenerative farming in Yorkshire and beyond, what we can learn from them and the contribution to combat global warming if these techniques are scaled up nationally.

We are investigating the limiting environmental, social and economic factors for regenerative farming and the changes in practice that will allow different farming systems in Yorkshire to be regenerative and financially viable. 

We have consulted widely with regenerative farmers in the region and with them have co-designed a set of plot trials to test the impact of regenerative farming practices. These trials are taking place at the University of Leeds farm. We will also use data collected during the trials to create a computer model that allows us to explore the potential extent that changes in regenerative farming practices could make.

Transforming to a regenerative farming system in Yorkshire report

To gain a deeper understanding of the actions needed to transform to a regenerative farming system, FixOurFood carried out a survey and workshops in 2022 with a diverse range of practitioners and researchers involved in the Yorkshire farming system. The Three Horizons method was used to guide the discussions, as it provides a useful framework in workshop settings to structure a deeper analysis.  We have summarised the discussions and actions raised during this process in a report: Transforming to a regenerative farming system in Yorkshire

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GHG emissions from UK agriculture are estimated to cost the UK £3.1 billion per year

source: Defra 2018
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The annual external cost to the UK of soil erosion and compaction from agriculture is £305 million

source: Defra 2018


Integration across the FixOurFood programme

In addition, activities are integrated into other areas of our research portfolio to increase the visibility of regenerative farming and its impacts to consumers. The farming team link with the Hybrid Business to develop new hybrid food models models team and the FixOurFood in Schools team to improve food provisions in school meals.

Key contacts: Dr Ruth Wade, Prof Steve Banwart, Prof Lisa Collins