Biodynamic agriculture views the farm as a living organism, responsible for maintaining its health and vitality from the living dynamics of the farm instead of being imported. Keenly focused on building soil fertility, low tillage, or no tillage, is encouraged. Integrating livestock, building compost, and utilizing cover crops generate on-farm fertility and return nitrogen to the soil. Holistically managed cattle grazing develops perennial grassland. These practices result in and depend on healthy vibrant soil.
Farmers must devote at least 10% of total acreage to wild area, for example forests, waterways, and meadows. Disease and insect control is created through botanical species diversity and predator habitat. This aids in carbon drawdown.
Trees and plants pull carbon out of the air and return it underground, feeding the soil’s microbiota. The microbiota returns the favor by releasing minerals and trace elements that feed roots, encourage worms, build soil, and deliver taste and nutrition to our food that we need to stay healthy and ward off disease.
Soil health impacts agricultural yields, water conservation, pest and disease outbreaks. Soil degradation poses a threat to more than 40% of the Earth’s land surfaces and climate change is accelerating this. There is no food security without resilient soil.
The soil’s ability to hold water has an immediate and direct effect on drought, crop failure, erosion, floods and desertification. Every 1% increase of soil organic matter increases the soil’s ability to retain 20,000 to 70,000 gallons of water. Soils richer in carbon are more resilient to the impacts of climate change.
The French .4% initiative advocates that increasing the world’s agricultural soil organic matter (carbon) by just .4% will halt the annual increase of atmospheric CO2. Demeter certification includes soil testing for carbon sequestration. Aggregating this data across all farms will give voice to power about Biodynamic farming’s ability to mitigate climate change.