What Do Bison and Regenerative Agriculture Have in Common?

What Do Bison and Regenerative Agriculture Have in Common?

 Back in the early 1800's in the Great Plains of the United States, a wonderful ecosystem existed.  A mix of tall and short, cool and warm season grasses sprawled across the Prairie.  Along with this lush and fertile land roamed the bison along with about 6,000 species of mammals, birds and reptiles.  It was a balance with the large grazers would travel sometimes miles a day trampling and cutting the grasses.  Rarely would they stay in one location unless the area was particularly tasty they would move quickly.  This allowed the cycling of nutrients, water but mostly carbon.  This kept the plants growing well, in the more arid locations a chance for grass to grow for long periods of time and heavy rains would soak into the ground instead of quickly running off and flooding except on rare occasions.  Dust storms were rare and erosion was in only those locations where they soil was very shallow and, or very coarse sand. Plants would grow to offset those changes with nature keeping the balance and transitioning to heal itself.

In the late 1840's and through the 1860's the "land grab" commenced with the legislation for pioneers to move west and acquire 160 acres for about $18.  This and in conjunction with the newly invented mold board plow greatly upset that cohesive and congruent  ecosystem and started the downfall of the Great Plains.

Gone were the bison and those healthy grasses, replaced with corn and wheat and large herds of cattle and sheep that over-grazed the perennial grasses.  This was the first step to the disasters of the Dust Bowl.  

The government had to step in to help with agriculture and the environment and spawned our research to learn how to grow the great yields of crops that we can produce today.  With the use of GMO hybrid seed, many chemicals and lost of fertilizer, American ag producers can generate tons of crops per acre.  But at what cost?

Whether it was out of necessity or desire to be better stewards of the land, a small trend was started in the 1970's which has grown to be far more important than ever due to research and experimentation.  Farmers, Ranchers with the aid of universities, and business, we are learning that what our environment back over 150 years ago was balanced and bountiful.  

We are re-learning how to grow soil instead of crops and making the crops more balanced and healthy which in turn aids the animals that graze.  By turning back the clock and adding some new technology, mainly cover crops, we are slowly getting our soil back to where it was.  This in turn with the thinking of fewer chemicals and additives are making the soil more healthy and the products produced from the soil in plants and animals more healthy, which in turn we are starting to see human usage of these healthy products reduce disease and increase our health.

The process is called Regenerative Agriculture.  Help me spread the word and the work.




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