As a Ph.D. student with Ecdysis Foundation and South Dakota State University, Mike Bredeson researches regenerative agricultural systems to push the envelope in the quest for more profitable and resilient food production. “We study how interseeding cover crops into established corn fields impacts pest and beneficial insect communities,” Bredeson said. “Incorporating cover crops into the crop rotation has already proved to be a successful way of diversifying the farming landscape. However, cash crops are still typically planted as monocultures. Diversifying monocultures by establishing cover crops during the growing season is the future of row cropping. This practice holds great promise not just for pest management, but for a multitude of agronomic and environmental benefits.”
Bredeson said without functioning soil, we cannot exist, period. “Productive soils are living, breathing bodies which are the foundation for filtering water, growing nutritious food, cleaning air, sequestering and purifying contaminants. If we choose to treat our soils like mines, unsustainably extracting materials and destroying structure which maintains life, then the services and functions which soil provides to us will disappear.
“If we, as stewards of the land, prioritize conservation and mimicking nature in our food production systems, healthy soil will provide us with what we need to have a bright future,” he said.