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Sunhemp a common nitrogen-fixing plant used in regenerative nutrients management

Regenerative Practices: Nutrients Management

Excessive synthetic fertilizer application and simply leaving raw manure on the field combined together is one of the major emissions from agriculture [1]. They are also water pollution culprits. Below are some of the better ways to provide nutrients to crops, create a better soil structure for farm resilience, and feed the beneficial microbes, which in turn decompose organic materials and store the resulted carbon.

Sunhemp a common nitrogen-fixing plant grown after rice season

Nitrogen-fixing Plants

These legumes or green manures are usually sowed before planting the main crops or after harvesting. Later on, while they are still green, they will be folded back into the soil, providing nutrients for the following crops.

worms decompose crop residues

Compost

Working with nature's recycling center, the composting process turns organic matters, such as manure, agricultural "wastes", and food scraps, into powerful biofertilizers with beneficial microbes.

rice straws are left on the field to protect the soil and build soil organic matter

Leaving Crop Residues on the Ground

This is a way nature returns nutrients back to the soil. These residues feed microbes during the decomposition process while adding soil organic matter, which improves soil's ability to store/release nutrients and absorb/hold water [2].

1. FAO. 2020. Emissions due to agriculture. Global, regional and country trends 2000–2018. FAOSTAT Analytical Brief Series No 18. Rome 2. eip-agri. "Soil Organic Matter Matters Investing in Soil Quality for Long-Term Benefits." Eip-Agri Agriculture & Innovation, European Commission, 2016, ec.europa.eu/eip/agriculture/sites/default/files/eip-agri_brochure_soil_organic_matter_matters_2016_en_web.pdf.