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Outstanding Regenerative Agriculture Results on our Heritage Pork Farm!

Outstanding Regenerative Agriculture Results on our Heritage Pork Farm!

June 14, 2018

We are constantly amazed at the incredible results we see from Regenerative Agriculture on our farms. The proof is in the pudding, they say... or in this case, it's in the corn.

The photos below show a comparison of corn crops on different, but neighboring farms in Kenansville, NC. One of them is Dark Branch Farm, where our Heritage Pigs are raised, and the second is a neighboring farm, only a couple of minutes away. 

Both photos were taken on May 29, 2018, and on both farms, the corn was seeded during the first week of April, 2018. Now, let's compare their farming methods:

Dark Branch Farm

Dark Branch Farm - Kenansville, NC

Corn Planted: First week of April, 2018

Photo Date: 5/29/18

  • Regenerative Agriculture methods in place
  • Advised by Dr. Allen Williams and the Soil Health Academy
  • Corn planted into standing cover crop
  • Multi-year no-till operation
  • Non-GMO seed
  • No chemical inputs for 12+ months
  • Good water infiltration, good growth, good resiliency
Corn on Farm in Kenansville

Neighboring Farm - Kenansville, NC

Corn Planted: First week of April, 2018, Re-seeded third week of April

Photo Date: 5/29/18

  • Not using Regenerative Agriculture methods
  • First crop failed and reseeding was required 
  • Advised by land grant university and government agents
  • No cover crop used between corn crops
  • Less than one year as no-till operation
  • Still dependent on chemical inputs
  • Poor water infiltration, poor crop vitality

It's important to note that on the neighboring farm that does not use Regenerative Agriculture, the first seeding failed, and the farmer had to re-seed. That means on top of paying additional costs for chemical inputs to maintain yield, the farmer also incurs a higher seed cost. While some re-seeding is normal/expected in crop farming, the crop at Dark Branch Farm (using Regenerative Agriculture) required zero re-seeding, and zero costs for chemical inputs. This is a great example of how Regenerative Agriculture is beneficial to the farmer as much as it is the land, environment, animals, and our food.

As you can see, the difference in results between the two farms is astounding, especially when you consider the proximity of the two locations! It's the same land, the difference is in how they manage it. 

When we began developing our Heritage Pork program in 2016, we partnered with Dark Branch Farm and the Grady family to raise our GOS pigs. Adam Grady then began implementing Regenerative Agriculture on the farm, something we require of all our farm partners that raise our Heritage animals (the corn shown on his farm is milled on site into wholesome grains that are part of our Heritage pigs' diet). The transformation of his farm since that time has been remarkable to watch. 

This successful corn crop is just one of the ways Adam has seen his land thrive since he began using Regenerative Agriculture. In fact, his farm was used earlier this year as the field site for the Soil Health Academy, a hands-on educational program led by Dr. Allen Williams (our Chief Ranching Officer), Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta, and David Brandt, that teaches farmers and others in agriculture and food production about implementing the principles of Regenerative Agriculture.

Stay tuned for more Regenerative Agriculture success stories, here on our blog!