Today’s Solutions: May 23, 2022

Farming a single crop on the same path of land—something known as a monoculture—depletes the soil of its nutrients and ruins its ability to trap carbon. The longer a monoculture remains a place, the harder it becomes for healthy land to regenerate. The problem is that for farmers, rotating crops and growing via regenerative methods has many upstart costs that farmers cannot possibly afford. That’s why General Mills, one of America’s biggest food companies, has announced an initiative that will bring the practice of regenerative farming to 1 million acres of farmland by 2030. To do this, General Mills will work with the farmers it sources from to introduce regenerative methods of farming—such as growing cover crops after the harvest instead of allowing the soil to sit unprotected, which helps to trap carbon in the ground and encourage nutrient development. In a country where around 40% of the land mass, or around 915 million acres, is classified as farmland, the 1 million that General Mills wants to see converted to regenerative land may not seem significant. But to General Mills, it’s all about setting the example and proving that regenerative practices can yield both strong crops and good financial returns for farmers.

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