The Crush May/June 2024 - 1

Volume 50 | Issue 3 | May/June 2024
Article by Ted Rieger
" Regenerative " agriculture is a term and concept
becoming more commonly heard and associated with
farm and vineyard practices and with certification
programs, in addition to sustainable, organic, and
biodynamic. Although the definition of " regenerative "
continues to evolve, some of the main concepts include:
* farming to reduce or reverse impacts of climate
change through carbon sequestration, soil carbon
management, and reducing greenhouse gas
* a focus on soil health through no-till or reduced
tillage, the use of cover crops, additions of
compost and organic nutrient inputs; increasing site
biodiversity with cover crops, hedgerows, increasing
soil biota and incorporating grazing livestock;
* increasing site water infiltration, retention, and
ensuring clean water runoff; eliminating or reducing
the use of synthetic inputs and pesticides;
* managing social fairness for workers, the
local community, and the economy.
During a session at the 2024 Unified Wine &
Grape Symposium, " Regenerative Agriculture-The
Next Step in Sustainability, " Amelie
Gaudin, UC Davis Associate Professor in the
Department of Plant Sciences and the Endowed
Chair in Agroecology said regenerative ag
involves managing for sustainability beyond
just productivity and includes practices that
promote multiple environmental benefits and
public health benefits. Gaudin said, " Think of
it as based on ecological principles: maximize
biodiversity, maintain living roots, keep soil
covered, provide frequent and diverse inputs of
organic matter, perform only strategic minimal
disturbances, and adapt to the landscape
and local communities. " She advised, " This
may involve redesigning the vineyard to
improve management and
outcomes. " In addition,
" Regenerative management requires flexibility and will
always be site-specific, " she said.
Gaudin and her lab have studied the benefits of
integrating livestock and grazing within production
fields and landscapes. She observed, " Livestock
grazing has the potential to profoundly shift soil
ecosystem functioning. " For vineyards, her lab studied
the carbon sequestration and soil health outcomes of
integrated sheep grazing in four Northern California
coastal vineyards over 10+ years in comparison with
non-integrated vineyard blocks in the same locations
managed with conventional mowing practices.
The study showed the following benefits:
* long-term vineyard grazing increased soil carbon
Integrating livestock grazing for cover crop and weed management
is a regenerative agriculture practice. (Photo: Ted Rieger)

The Crush May/June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush May/June 2024

The Crush May/June 2024 - 1
The Crush May/June 2024 - 2
The Crush May/June 2024 - 3
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