The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our just-released 2019 Annual Report.

Scientists are skeptical of regenerative agriculture’s ‘extraordinary claims’

What is regenerative agriculture? Why is it different from sustainable agriculture? And how do I reconcile what practitioners of this system are claiming with the scientific evidence? These were all going through my mind when, a couple weeks ago at [a meeting where] we watched a YouTube video of Gabe Brown’s TED talk…. Brown farms near Bismarck, ND, and has become the American face of regenerative agriculture in the past decade. Here is what I learned.

Brown states … “We’ve done this without the use of any synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or fungicides.”

We are to believe that biodiversity-powered microbes free up large amounts of phosphorus, fix large amounts of nitrogen from the air, while plants produce 31 tons of biomass in a short North Dakota season, while also producing harvested crops and livestock?

I cannot say that this scenario is impossible, but I find it highly improbable, because if this is true, then it means that science has missed an astounding, extraordinary process.

[E]xtraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. What counts as evidence are peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals – I have looked for the evidence to support the claims of regenerative agriculture. What I have found are lots of YouTube videos, testimonials, articles and interviews. None of these sources is extraordinary evidence.

Editor’s note: Andrew McGuire is an agronomist at Washington State University

Read full, original post: Regenerative Agriculture: Solid Principles, Extraordinary Claims

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend