Study Demonstrates the Nutritional Benefits of Regenerative Ag
A study published on January 27, 2022, in PeerJ concluded that farms using regenerative production practices such as no-till planting, cover crops, and crop rotations, harvested crops containing higher levels of certain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals compared to crops produced using traditional farming methods.
The study examined crops from farms that had been using regenerative practices for at least five years, testing the influence of soil health and soil health scores on nutrient density of crops on eight pairs of farms across North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Tennessee, Kansas, North Dakota, and Montana. Each regenerative farm was paired with a conventional farm that produced the same crop variety such as peas, corn, soybeans, sorghum, or wheat.
Funded by grants from The Dillon Family Foundation, the team found that crops from regenerative farms had 34 percent more vitamin K, 15 percent more vitamin E, 14 percent more vitamin B-1, and 17 percent more vitamin B-2. Regenerative crops also had 11 percent more calcium, 16 percent more phosphorus, and 27 percent more copper.
The team also studied wheat planted in a rotation pattern including cover crops such as spring barley and winter wheat. In this case, the regenerative wheat sample had 41 percent more boron, 29 percent more magnesium, 48 percent more calcium, and 56 percent more zinc compared to its conventional counter-samples.