"Regenerative agriculture" is the latest buzzterm advocated by people who primarily work at food marketing groups in cities, coming along at the end of the no-till, sustainable fads, but what it really means is so subjective it's "just nonsense" according to New Zealand soil expert Dr. Doug Edmeades.

Instead of getting an informed discussion of healthy soil, people are getting political spin, he worries. 

And the politicians and activists implying that local farmers are doing something wrong and wanting to shame them with regulations ignore the reality that they have been practicing actual regenerative agriculture quite well.

This is regenerative agriculture to wealthy urban academics, like at Yale. In reality, there is a limit to how many pretty sunsets you can get - and how much compost will help soil. Photo: Yale

“I understand this project has been given a whole dollop of Government money to go and find out what the science is behind RA – and I can tell them that for $50 – there’s no science behind it at all,” he told the New Zealand Herald.

Edmeades doesn't like that politicians and environmental groups are talking about keeping soils covered and rotation of grazing as if farmers hadn't already done it. No one cares about soil health more than farmers. It is their most important asset. A tractor can be replaced. Soil cannot. So the notion that normal farming is "degenerative" and politicians and environmentalists need to fix farming is in defiance of scientific fact. The fetish for even more "organic" matter in the soil is as ridiculous as taking 10X the normal amount of vitamin C as a supplement; it does no good.