What is Holistic Management?
Holistic Management is a whole-farm and decision making system that helps farmers and agricultural asset managers better manage agricultural resources in order to reap sustainable environmental, economic, and social benefits. Ultimately a holistic approach reduces the amount of fertilizer and herbicide needed for operations, but it does not completely rule out the use of herbicide and fertilizer.
Holistically managed farmland exhibits a range of characteristics that support growth:
-- Increases water absorption and water holding capacity of soil by up to 800%.
-- Holistic Management producers have been able to increase organic matter by as much as 300%, bringing more carbon out of the atmosphere and into the soil to feed and support life.
-- Holistic Management producers create more food and fiber from the sun’s energy by increasing land productivity.
-- Holistic Management producers have improved wildlife habitats and increased ground cover by as much as 100%, healing the environment and reducing erosion.
Holistic Management in Practice
Across agricultural systems, land values are predominantly determined by their capacity for productive output. By implementing a holistic management plan, land values are improved and maintained, driven by their increased carrying capacity for livestock, and larger volumes of feed produced.
Below are three side-by-side examples of holistic and traditional practices, under the same set of operating conditions. Differences in productivity and subsequent profit are clearly visible, evidenced by large differences in ground cover, feed and vegetation.