Sequestering carbon in soils is foundational to regenerative agriculture. Shepherd's Grain growers have had their soil carbon levels measured over time, and the results are encouraging. Their no-till practices are sequestering significant amounts of carbon.
In 2020 Shepherd's Grain producers submitted wheat samples to the Bionutrient Institute. These samples were tested for nutrient density compared to wheat samples from other regions and cropping systems.
"For each mineral measured by the RFC lab, tillage caused a large and significant decrease in nutrient density. Furthermore, in most cases, more intense tillage caused a larger decline in nutrient density than lighter tillage."
In 2021, Shepherd's Grain farmers participated in a research project that compared soil biology populations and activity during the wheat growing season in no-till systems versus tillage based farming systems.
From 2016 through 2019, Shepherd's Grain funded research on oat production in the Pacific Northwest growing region. The goal of the research was to show viability of oats as a rotational crop with wheat, and to show the herbicide-resistant weed control benefits of growing oats.
In 2014, Shepherd's Grain helped fund a long-term crop rotation study with Shepherd's Grain farmer Eric Odberg. Diverse crop rotations are critical to regenerating degraded soils.
We put our flours through the ringer to determine how wheat from no-till systems compare against wheat from conventional tillage farming systems. The Wheat Marketing Center did these comparisons in 2019.