Why we need regenerative agriculture - Campbell Mercer at BGD

Biodiversity
The September Ballarat Green Drinks talk by Campbell Mercer on regenerative agriculture was an eye-opener for many of us.  As the owner and manager of a family-run, organic olive grove – the award winning Manna Hill Estate – Campbell practices what he preaches and generously shared his considerable theoretical knowledge on the topic along with his practical insights as a farmer.  pdfClick here for a downloadable pdf of Campbell's clearly evidenced account of the problems arising from contemporary agricultural practices, and their implications for human nutrition, soil carbon and wider impacts in relation to climate change and the environment at large – and how adoption of regenerative agriculture can reverse these destructive trends.

One shocking takeaway, relating to nutritional loss, was that to get the equivalent vitamin A to that in an orange produced in 1948, you would today need to eat 21 oranges. A food system that has driven demand for bigger and brighter has not been in the interests of our health or the planet's.

Campbell's presentation was followed by audience conversation that referenced the many aspects of his talk, from the impacts of syntheticGreen Drinks 15 September 2022 insecticides and herbicides, cropping practices, organic farming, to the role of mycorrhizal fungi, the unnecessary use of plastics in farming and strategies for encouraging farmers to adopt regenerative techniques.

Next month's Ballarat Green Drinks talk will be presented by Bob Hartman of Friends of the Canadian Corridor, the highly regarded local landcare group that turns 10 this year. Bob will be talking about what FoCC has done in their first decade and the important work they currently involved in.