Arizona rancher takes an old approach to growing crops on Gila River
Regenerative agriculture is a holistic land management approach with principles that date back to Indigenous farmers. Instead of letting the land fallow or repeating a cycle of planting water-intensive crops that cannot survive the harsh conditions along the lower Gila River, Hansen has worked to develop strategies to make less water go further. He has successfully introduced arid-adapted crops, integrated livestock on his land and used non-traditional farming methods to improve soil health and biodiversity. While regenerative agriculture has been a way to conserve water and grow healthier crops for centuries, the alternate farming method has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years as a way to potentially reverse the effects of climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity, resulting in both carbon drawdown and improvements to the water cycle.
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