Effective land management techniques continuously evolve and advance to achieve a sustainable environment. Many Australian wool growers are environmental leaders, effectively improving and restoring the agricultural environment while enhancing the profitability of their enterprises and well-being.
Regenerative agriculture is a sustainable farming method that focuses on strengthening the biodiversity and fertility of soils as the foundation of the entire farm ecosystem.
1 Enhance Soil Health
Soil health is critical to the environment and plays an integral part in influencing the entire ecosystem’s health. Soil is the foundation for crop development, encourages biodiversity, supplies water, and plays a pivotal role in preventing climate change by functioning as carbon storage.
Regeneration is a type of sustainable farming that focuses on improving soil ecology and nutrition. This farming method also acts as the cornerstone of the entire farm ecosystem by supporting the biological cycles of the environment.
2 Increases Biodiversity
The beautiful biodiversity comprising marine and land organisms is the outcome of 4.5 billion years of evolution, with humans playing an increasingly important role. However, climate change threatens biodiversity, resulting in the extinction of local species and the fast climate-driven loss of biodiversity. With regenerative farming practices, the restoration of crops on the verge of extinction and the spontaneous growth of native species have become possible.
3 Reinstating the Ideal Water Cycle
The regeneration approaches are lauded in particular for their ability to help the soil retain nutrients, tolerate natural stressors, avert erosion, and improve the water quality of ecosystems. Other benefits include:
- Reducing the quantity of water needed by retaining naturally occurring nutrients in the soil.
- Less fertiliser usage
- Reducing detrimental water and nutrient runoff from agricultural fields.
4 Encourage Bio-Sequestration
The ultimate goal of bio-sequestration is to store atmospheric carbon in plants, wood, and aquatic habitats. Biological sequestration has numerous potential benefits, including:
- The ability to store relatively large amounts of carbon at a cheap cost.
- Improved soil and biodiversity
- Encouraging more environmentally friendly agricultural practices
- Enhancing soil texture to trap carbon back into the soil.
5 Boost Resilience to Climate Change
According to a UNEP study, the Earth is still on course for a more than 3°C rising temperature this century. It is unbelievable that the globe emits around 50 billion metric tonnes of CO2 annually. The agriculture industry is a significant source of such emissions, accounting for approximately 10–14%. Regenerative farming strives to benefit the environment by restoring deteriorated soil, trapping more carbon dioxide, and reversing the effects of climate change.
Where Does Wool Come Into Play?
Sheep are essential for soil health. Implementing rotational grazing practices ensures the grass is cut periodically, allows regeneration, stores additional carbon in its roots, and maintains biodiversity. Wool products derived from regenerative sources may operate as carbon sinks if the area on which the sheep graze has been optimised for carbon sequestration. If extensively implemented, it has the potential to significantly reduce the carbon footprint at the raw material stage, allowing the fashion sector to play a role in a carbon-free future.
Natural fibres, a great source of fibre for fast fashion, are cultivated on farmland. Farmers can assist the apparel industry by maintaining soil health while generating these natural fibres. Invest in natural, renewable, and biodegradable fibres, such as wool, to enable farmers who produce the fibre to make a reasonable living and expand their businesses.