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Photo by Mick Thompson

Regenerative Agriculture Pilot Project

In Autumn of 2023 Friends is embarking on a five-year pilot project to understand how regenerative agriculture can be adopted as a feasible, sustainable, and achievable process for restoring soil fertility and productivity on the refuge. During this pilot, our contractors, Friends, and refuge staff will implement BEAM protocol on four historically-farmed plots totaling thirty-eight acres in the southern portion of the refuge. BEAM stands for Biologically Enhanced Agricultural Management.

 
The BEAM method involves:
Minimum to no-till management; full-time covers – either commodity crop or winter cover crops; reduction/elimination of synthetic chemical inputs and pesticides; and inoculation/injection of a beneficial soil microbiome into the soil profile at planting.

Why?

 

Habitat at the refuge is under stress, with refuge farm fields’ yields declining in food needed to feed migratory and resident winter and spring waterfowl flocks. Further, water supply is marginal with the long-term forecast expected to get worse. Farming on the refuge has been too labor-intensive for staff to support well. This method can help!

 

Donate to support this important pilot project, which may benefit our local community farms as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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