Then, he turned to YouTube. To local farmers and ranchers already implementing practices known as “regenerative.” To nationally-recognized ones who had been at it for decades. Those who plant annual cover crops, perennials, no-till, and use adaptive grazing management. Those who armor the soil. Diversify. Keep living roots.
Chris had questions: Would the soil on his 600 pasture acres respond as well? Would these changes help make his cattle the healthiest they could possibly be? What was the right seed blend to start with? Would his wallet notice a difference?
The seed of an idea emerged as a sapling, frantic to grow. Since 2008, Chris has worked up from an annual blend of cereal rye, oats, crimson clover, and winter peas to over 30 species. He has replaced tillage with no-till, even though no-till in the South is far less common than other parts of the country. Chris, his wife, and his parents have even brought in some row crops, including corn and small grains, which are used primarily as feed for livestock. Their most recent regenerative experiment: more armor on the soil through residue management.
There’s at least one definitive answer Chris can offer. “It works,” he said.
Read more about Chris and the winners of the Carbon Cup here.