Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group Share Top Three Topics

With the Soil Regenerative Agriculture Group reaching the end of its planned working life, here are the top three topics which the farmer group thought were most important to consider for those starting out on their own regenerative farming journey:


The group has had many discussions about rotation over the past few years, from the inclusion of novel crops to the requirement for non-intensive break crops. However, the group agreed that the rotation forms the backbone of a regen system. A diverse rotation spreads risk for the business; creates space for weed control; provides entry for cover crops to enhance soil health and can allow a farm to reduce its input use.

Grass Weed Control

A growing issue on conventional and reduced tillage farms alike, grass weed control is an ongoing challenge. The group discussed grass weeds in depth, deciding that a zero-tolerance approach to yield robbing grass weeds such as barren brome is essential in a non-inversion tillage system. Grass weed control is linked with a diverse rotation, but the group felt this was one area where farmers starting out on their own journey should really focus their attention.

Crop Establishment

The third element of the farming system the group thought potential adoptees would want to focus on was crop establishment. This topic is wide ranging, from sowing dates and seed rates to tine vs disc drills. However, the group thought that the most important element of crop establishment which needed further work was the establishment of spring crops, particularly barley.

The farmers in the regen group have been on a fantastic journey over the past 4 years, often coming up against significant challenges. Nevertheless, the open discussions and honesty within the group has provided real value to both its members and wider farming community.

Zach Reilly, Senior Agricultural Consultant, SAC Consulting

This article was first published in Sept/Oct 2023 edition of the the Farming Scotland Magazine.

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