Linda Poole

NCAT Regenerative Grazing Specialist
A study published in the journal Peer J offers results of a preliminary comparison of soil health and nutrient density between conventional and regenerative farms. The study, reported by lead author David R. Montgomery, paired farms across the United States that had been conventionally or regeneratively farmed for five to 10 years. Regenerative farms that combined no-till, cover crops, and diverse rotations produced crops with higher soil organic matter levels, soil health scores, and levels of certain vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. Also, a comparison of wheat from adjacent regenerative and conventional no-till fields in northern Oregon found a higher density of mineral micronutrients in the regenerative crop. Additionally, regenerative grazing practices produced meat with a better fatty acid profile than conventional and regional health-promoting brands.

From the conclusion of the article:
Given the complexity of soil ecology, the human microbiome, and other important factors, it will prove challenging to more rigorously link soil health and human health. Still, our preliminary comparisons suggest the potential for regenerative agricultural practices that build soil health to enhance the nutritional profile of crops and livestock, and thereby influence human health and risk of chronic diseases.

And a plug for NCAT's upcoming Soil Health Innovations Conference on March 15-16: David Montgomery, lead author of the above study, will be our keynote speaker on March 15. Register for the conference at

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