Implementing Regenerative agriculture
How McCain continues working with growers to build smart, sustainable practices
(Sponsored) Continuously facing increasing challenges in the agriculture industry like climate change, regulatory uncertainty and input costs, growers must adapt to more sustainable farming practices. To combat these challenges, McCain is partnering with growers across the globe to re-image how they grow potatoes.
Through Regenerative agriculture, McCain is committed to improving famer resilience, yield and quality by improving soil health, reducing the impact of synthetic inputs and enhancing biodiversity. McCain is on track to implement Regenerative agricultural practices across 100% of their potato acreage worldwide by 2030.
Randy Fleishauer, general manager at Plover River Farms Alliance Inc. in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, has managed farms in the midwest for 31 years and has always used smart and sustainable farming practices.
According to Fleishauer, Wisconsin producers formed the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) 75 years ago, working to bring “growers together to advance both grower and public education funding extensive research in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin Extension researchers.”
In the 1970s, other Wisconsin producers initiated Best Management Practices (BMP) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) specifically meant to combat challenges potato growers face in the region.
Keeping these practices in mind, McCain works closely with growers in the region by committing to the following:
- Onboarding level of regenerative agricultural practices reaches across 100 percent of McCain potato acres by 2030.
- Reaching Beginner level for regenerative agricultural practices across 50 percent of McCain potato acres by 2030.
- Operating three Farms of the Future by 2025, dedicated to developing regenerative agriculture practices and transferring this knowledge to growers.
- Developing research partnerships and leveraging collective action to advance Regenerative agriculture.
“The need for food production will increase for generations to come,” Fleishauer said. “Present and past generations of producers have recognized and managed it and continue to improve as new opportunities and technologies arrive that will help sustain every acre. I think the goal for us all is to pass it on to the next generation in better condition than we received it.”
McCain’s Regenerative Agriculture Framework guides growers to support their progression toward a smart, sustainable model. The Framework measures a grower’s progress through seven indicators: armored soils, enhanced crop diversity, minimized soil disturbance, reduced toxicity of pesticides, enhanced farm and ecosystem diversity, reduced agro-chemical impact and optimized water use and increased soil organic matter.
Fleishauer recommends growers conduct extensive research on best practices for their farm and take it “one step at a time.” He also notes that what may work in one area may not work in another — have patience and trust the process.
McCain continues to lay the foundation toward their commitment to Regenerative agriculture. It is their commitment to make a difference for growers — starting on the farm.
“We welcome McCain Foods’ initiative to join us in continuing to advance (smart and sustainable) ideas and practices,” Fleishauer said.
To learn more about McCain, visit www.mccain.com/sustainability/smart-sustainable-farming.
© 2023 McCain