Published: June 9, 2021

Category: Regenerative Agriculture

Kansas farmer Arman Miller launched Elevate Ag in 2019, after experimenting with a natural manure and calcium product that significantly benefited his crop. Now the company offers consultation with Midwestern and Southern farmers, pushing regenerative agriculture to increase farmer profits while reducing chemical inputs.

“What we’re trying to go back to is farming with biology, not chemistry,” said Shawn Tiffany of Tiffany Cattle Company, who’s partnered with Elevate Ag to integrate his livestock back into farming. “I just got so tired of spending so much money on chemistry.”

Elevate Ag helped farmers on 80 acres last year; in 2021, they’re helping with 500,000 acres. The first step is examining a farmer’s soil to clarify soil issues. Then regenerative practices are shared to build healthy soil resilient to climate impacts (drought, extreme weather events). Education is essential as farmers undergo the challenges of transitioning—explaining how fungicides and herbicides can do harm, for example.

“Farmers want someone they can have a relationship with,” said Travis Kraft, Elevate Ag’s regenerative agriculture advisor.

Demonstrations are helpful—showing how one tablespoon of a wheat crop grown regeneratively has a higher protein content, for instance. “When Travis…compares the plants, this helps farmers understand and then they get hope that they can do better,” Miller said. Farmers are beginning to see the value of focusing on quality over quantity—a more nutrient-dense product brings more profit.

Elevate Ag hopes to build much-needed farmer communities for long-term learning and sharing. “We’ve gotten away from neighbors talking to neighbors about what works,” said Del Ficke, Elevate Ag’s ag relationship advisor. “It’s become more competitive and that’s because of systems built that weren’t the best for us.”

Fifteen input partners supply the company with natural farming products.

Source: The Wichita Eagle

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Organic & Non-GMO Insights June 2021