Next-generation farming

Healthy soils, profitable farms

European countries
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Industrial agricultural practices, including the use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, heavy ploughing and large monoculture fields have degraded farmland across Europe. As well as impacting farm performance, this affects the amount of carbon that is stored in the soil. This project works with arable farms in Belgium and France that are growing any range of annual crops on mineral soils to regenerate their farmland.

Location
European countries
Type
Other
Standards
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Sustainable Development Goals

2. Zero Hunger

Up to 1,600 farms

are helping create a climate-friendly food system

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Scalable farming solutions

are future-proofing farms and tackling climate change

13. Climate Action

500,000+ tonnes of CO2e

reduced, maintained and removed by 2025

15. Life on land

376,212 hectares

of farm land will be improved after 5 years

The Solution

The core aim of the project is to transition conventional Belgian and French farms to regenerative agriculture. Expert agronomists are working with up to 1,600 farmers to implement the following regenerative techniques: reduce tillage practices; use cover crops between cash crops; rotate crops with nitrogen-fixing legumes; avoid monocultures; swap to organic fertilisers, like manure; and in some cases create agroforestry systems where trees are planted on arable fields. The typical minimum size of farms is around 30 hectares and each farmer is eligible to participate in a sequence of 5-year projects for up to 20 years as this is how long the IPCC advises mineral soils can continue to sequester carbon.

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"I am impressed with the amount of new information that mySoilCapital tool provides me. With the data I can now understand the carbon footprint of my farm – this is crucial for the agriculture of tomorrow."

Etienne Allard, Farmer

Project Progress

December 2020
May 2021
June 2021
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Project Progress

Why are hedgerows so important?

Beyond the benefits they bring to wildlife, hedgerows play an important role on farmland. They help to boost biodiversity and provide protection from the elements, ensuring soils remain healthy. The team is spending this cold December day to support farmers to plant multispecies hedges around their fields. We're looking forward to seeing the results!

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Project Progress

With a little help from my friends

Text: While there's no single definition of regenerative agriculture, it refers to creating a farming system that works with nature instead of against it. Companion cropping–planting different friendly species together– creates a symbiotic system and boosts soil health! Here you can see the organic einkorn wheat happily thriving with some peas.

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Project Progress

Agroforestry in action

Text: First leaves on the newly planted walnut trees! With a mild spring, it is already time to weed the rows of trees in one of the organic regenerative farming fields. In a few weeks, the Einkorn wheat will be ready to harvest...we're already dreaming about the delicious bread that could be made from the fresh flour!

White clover grows as a cover crop between recently harvested maize.

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Winter wheat is directly seeded into multi-species cover crops and rolled without any added chemicals.

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With microorganisms and roots, soil can retain water and is less vulnerable to erosion

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On the left, you can see dark, nutrient-dense and carbon rich soil. While on the right, the soil is clearly dry and powdery. Take a guess which comes from a regeneratively managed farm.

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The Impact

By implementing regenerative agriculture practices, the project is restoring the natural fertility of the soil and improving biodiversity of agro-ecosystems, crucially while capturing more carbon than is emitted. For the farmers, the project provides an additional source of income thanks to the carbon finance; improves their market prospects as a sustainable grower; and supports them to become more resilient to unpredictable weather patterns. The project has a vision for tomorrow’s agriculture: regenerative and more profitable with a positive environmental impact; farming re-centred on soil and people.

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