Viewpoint: Thinking about carbon as a crop

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Credit: Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters
Credit: Enrique Castro-Mendivil/Reuters

“The idea behind carbon farming is pretty simple — remove excess carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the soil, where it will facilitate plant growth,” [soil scientist Katie] Lewis said.

Carbon farming involves implementing agricultural practices that improve the rate at which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and soil organic matter. It works by applying agricultural methods such as no-till or conservation tilling for minimal soil disturbance, mulching, composting, rotating livestock and using cover crops as ways of sequestering carbon in the soil.

“Recently, there have been discussions about creating a ‘carbon bank’ at the USDA that would buy and sell carbon credits from farmers,” [economist Joe] Outlaw said. “The credits could then be sold to corporations needing to offset their emissions.”

This concept, which has received support from a number of farm, food, forestry and environmental groups, also makes accommodations for early adopters.

Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.

“At this time, there’s really no way to know if carbon farming would be an effective way to fight climate change, but there is no doubt there are many ways to make changes in land management that would improve soil health and benefit the environment,” Outlaw said.  

Read the original post

Outbreak Featured
Infographic: Gene transfer mystery — How 'antifreeze' genes jumped from one species to another without sex

Infographic: Gene transfer mystery — How ‘antifreeze’ genes jumped from one species to another without sex

It isn’t surprising... that herrings and smelts, two groups of fish that commonly roam the northernmost reaches of the Atlantic ...
a bee covered in pollen x

Are GMOs and pesticides threatening bees?

First introduced in 1995, neonicotinoids ...
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
glp menu logo outlined

Get news on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.