The Role of Chitosan In Regenerative Agriculture
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
A definition co-authored by Regenerative Agriculture Initiative, California State University and The Carbon Underground
February 16, 2017
Regenerative Agriculture describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle. Specifically, Regenerative Agriculture is a holistic land management practice that leverages the power of photosynthesis in plants to close the carbon cycle, and build soil health, crop resilience and nutrient density. Regenerative agriculture improves soil health, primarily through the practices that increase soil organic matter. This not only aids in increasing soil biota diversity and health, but increases biodiversity both above and below the soil surface, while increasing both water holding capacity and sequestering carbon at greater depths, thus drawing down climate-damaging levels of atmospheric CO2, and improving soil structure to reverse civilization-threatening human-caused soil loss. Research continues to reveal the damaging effects to soil from tillage, applications of agricultural chemicals and salt based fertilizers, and carbon mining. Regenerative Agriculture reverses this paradigm to build for the future.
Regenerative Agricultural Practices are: Practices that (i) contribute to generating/building soils and soil fertility and health; (ii) increase water percolation, water retention, and clean and safe water runoff; (iii) increase biodiversity and ecosystem health and resiliency; and (iv) invert the carbon emissions of our current agriculture to one of remarkably significant carbon sequestration thereby cleansing the atmosphere of legacy levels of CO2.
The Role of Chitosan in Regenerative Agriculture
- In areas with high levels of heavy metal contamination: Chitosan has been shown to have the ability to absorb and bind heavy metals in soil, making it effective for remediation of contaminated soil. This can be especially useful in cases where traditional methods of soil remediation, such as physical removal or chemical treatment, are not feasible or have been unsuccessful.
- In areas with high levels of erosion: Chitosan can be used to stabilize soil and reduce erosion by promoting the growth of plants that help to anchor the soil in place. This can be particularly useful in areas prone to wind or water erosion, such as coastal regions or areas with steep slopes.
- In areas with low levels of organic matter: Adding chitosan to soil can help improve soil structure and increase the amount of organic matter present in the soil. This can be beneficial for improving soil fertility and promoting the growth of plants.
- Chitosan help to suppress the growth of certain pathogenic microorganisms in the soil, promoting a healthy soil ecosystem.