Carbon Farming: CA Focus on Soil to Meet Climate, Water Goals
Jul 31, 2017 at 1:00pm
Enrique Gili, News Deeply
A pioneering program in California aims to sequester carbon, improve water resources and boost plant growth, by treating the soil beneath farmers’ and ranchers’ feet as part of a living system.
Soil’s ability to capture carbon and store water has led to an upsurge of interest in this often overlooked natural resource.
In California, a new program called the Healthy Soils Initiative is about to put unorthodox farming practices to the test. With modest grants of up to $50,000 administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), a network of farmers and ranchers throughout the state will embark on a series of experiments in carbon farming.
The term refers to improving soil health by biological processes that limit the amount of synthetic chemicals applied to crops and adopting techniques aimed to reduce nutrient loss. The statewide soil program is the first of its kind in the United States, and the goal is to store carbon while treating the soil beneath farmers’ and ranchers’ feet as part of a living system.
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