About Regenerative Farming
Traditional farming accounts for 24% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

According to a UN report, agricultural activities have had the largest impact on ecosystems on which people rely for their food, with crops and livestock using over 33% of the planet’s land surface and 75% of its hydric resources.

Overcultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, overuse of chemical inputs and poor irrigation practices, are unsustainable traditional farming practises which have been identified as major causes of desertification.

How we treat our land can either push us further into a state of environmental emergency, or it can help us solve it. Regenerative Farming is the best tool we have today to help our land recover from decades of exploitation.
Regenerative farming, or regenerative agriculture, is a holistic soil management practice that has the objective of maximising the natural capacity of our soils to absorb and store CO2 from the atmosphere.
It focuses on shifting our farming approach from “extraction” to “regeneration” by looking at how we can always give more than we take.

Scientists estimate that by boosting carbon storage in agricultural soils by just 0.4% each year, we can store more carbon in the soil than humanity emits in a year.

Regenerative farming creates sustainable long-term ecosystems by maximising soil health and increasing its natural capacity to absorb and store CO2 from the atmosphere.
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Our New Zealand Sheep Stations are at the forefront of the regenerative farming movement. Through regular soil testing, Lake Hawea Station discovered that by implementing it, they were able to sequester 1% of carbon in their soil in a year.

Some of the practices our stations adopt include:
1. Minimising soil disturbance.
Believe it or not but there are more micro-organisms in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on Earth. These living organisms are what make soil fertile. Disturbing them through tillage or by using chemicals, destroys the soil structure that acts as their home. It’s a bit like if someone smashed your teapot and then asked you to serve them an Earl Grey. Rude.
2. Keeping the soil covered.
As Aristotele observed, nature always works to fill a vacuum. In nature, soil is covered by vegetation to protect it from wind and water erosion, while preventing moisture evaporation and weed seeds germinating. Our stations protect their soil by maintaining living roots through the year and growing cover crops that help retain nutrients and food supply for the micro-organisms.
3. Maximising pasture diversity.
Pests and poor nutrient cycles in crops are due to the lack of diversity in our farming system. For too long within farming systems farmers would plow the soil, and then till it to get it in a very fine form. That would allow new plants to get root structure through the soil much easier. Within regenerative (multi-species) pastures the plants serve the same function. Their root structure creates carbon pathways, sequestering it from the environment and getting it down into the soil in the form of nutrition.
4. Managed grazing for the sheep.
Traditional sheep feedlots lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions and low nutrient forage. Instead, a regenerative grazing system mimics the natural grazing patterns of animals. Our Station’s pastures have at least 30 different seeds, keeping our sheep healthy and providing all the nutrition they need to produce the highest quality Merino wool. LHS is also working with scientists in New Zealand to trial innovative methods, such as seaweed supplements, that in practice trials, have reduced the sheep’s methane output by up to 60%.
By “farming the soils” with more diverse plants and a healthier microbiome, soils hold water and nutrients better. There is less erosion and fewer fertilisers needed. These soils create healthier pastures, which improves the health of animals, humans and our planet.

Through regenerative farming, today Lake Hawea Station is naturally sequestering more CO2 from the atmosphere than their operations emit. Making their property, and the wool they produce, naturally carbon negative.

All our stations play an active role in changing the route this planet is on. They are real Softcore Radicals, who work relentlessly to prove a new path forward is possible and that farmers can move from being seen as villains to heroes in the climate battle.
Meet Geoff Ross
Meet Geoff Ross
The Radical Farming Fund
The Radical Farming Fund
Sheep Welfare
Sheep Welfare
Sheep Tech: Our Wool
Sheep Tech: Our Wool