There is currently much interest in regenerative agriculture (RA) - an approach which is said to have an increased focus on healthy ecosystems when compared with conventional agriculture. This project aims to develop a framework to assess and capture the economic and social benefits of improved ecological function and associated environmental outcomes achieved from adopting regenerative agriculture or other innovations that generate an improvement in soil health.
There is currently much interest in regenerative agriculture (RA) - an approach which is said to have an increased focus on healthy ecosystems when compared with conventional agriculture. There is a need to define any potential intertemporal trade-offs between the development of ecosystem services (such as soil health) and the production of high quality food and fibre. This project will develop a framework that can be used to assess a wide range of economic and social impacts of agriculture, allowing comparisons among different approaches. The project will use a case study design that builds on existing work in the Soil CRC project (4.1.004 ) that has been working to quantify the effectiveness of regenerative farming systems for improving soil performance across defined soil and climate constraints.
To address the uncertainty and potentially enhance the adoption of RA, this project will develop a framework to undertake cost-benefit and multi criteria analysis of 6 case study farms, selected to enable scaling out. This approach aims to bring the wider range of potential benefits and risks that an ecosystem approach necessitates. The result will be a relevant, practical and usable decision support system for farmers considering transitioning to RA.
This project partially fulfils the need for evidence of productivity, profitability and resilience benefits to farmers from RA, as well as the wider ecological benefits to society that healthy soils bring such as impacts on human health; nutrient-rich food production, clean water and air as a result of changes to the health of agro-ecosystems and biodiversity.
CRC for High Performing Soils
Charles Sturt University (Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, AU)
Harper Adams University, Federation University (AU), Soils For Life Trust (AU)