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Pasture Cropping—the Regenerative No-Kill, No-Till System

Australia has many innovative regenerative farmers, including the pioneers of a cover cropping system called “pasture cropping” that is both organic and regenerative. 

In a pasture cropping system, the cash crop or annual is planted directly into a perennial pasture, rather than being planted into bare soil that has been tilled. Unlike a conventional system, with pasture cropping there is no need to plow out the pasture species as weeds or kill them with herbicides before planting the cash crop. The perennial pasture becomes the cover crop.

Modern pasture cropping was first developed by Colin Seis in New South Wales. The principle is based on the sound ecological fact that annual plants grow in perennial systems. The key is to adapt this principle to the appropriate management system for the specific cash crops and climate.

The pasture is first grazed or slashed to ensure that it is very short. This adds organic matter into the soil in the form of manure, cut grass, and shed roots, which builds soil fertility and reduces root competition from the pasture. Next, the cash crop (such as oats) is planted directly into this pasture. 

Read more: Pasture Cropping—The Innovative No-kill, No-till System Developed by Australian Farmers

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