Introduction to Regenerative Agriculture - (30 credits)

This module introduces the principles and practices of regenerative agriculture. The relevance of the soil health, crop diversity and integration of livestock are outlined along with the practices which underpin the principles which include minimising soil disturbance, maintaining soil cover, reducing the use of artificial inputs and using grass leys to build fertility providing food for soil improving livestock. The module will be taught within the context of both climate change and the shift in agricultural policy. The contribution to mitigate the factors that contribute to climate change will be assessed particularly regarding carbon sequestration and the potential of the principles to contribute to ecosystem services and other consequences such as flooding. The alignment of the principles to agricultural policy will be identified along with the potential benefits both financial and societal that might accrue and could include the enhancement of landscapes and biodiversity and carbon capture. All possible aspects will be introduced and case studies used to illustrate key concepts and ideas these might include machinery choice and utilisation, companion and cover cropping, grazing regimes, conservation practices and the encouragement of natural predators. Practical farm based activities and tasks are integrated within the programme to widen and deepen the student experience.