Carbon Sequestration

Dear Reader :

This weekend, I tried to block out all the bad climate news[1], [2], [3] and stay positive. So I binged on YouTubes and ended up having an epiphany.

So you have read on many of my blogs the assertion that regenerative agriculture, embodied in the principles of permaculture, can sequester carbon.

Remember I wrote that Al Gore believes that regenerative ag “has the technical potential” to absorb 157 parts per million of CO2.

But did you ever wonder, HOW that could happen? I did and now I think I know. Lucy Biggers did a YouTube called Can Regenerative Agriculture Reverse Climate Change?

She went to Rodale Institute, a non-profit organization that supports research into organic farming. In fact, J. I. Rodale, the founder, is said to have coined the term “organic.”

Lucy talked with Jeff Moyer, the current CEO of Rodale, and he explained that plants suck carbon out of the air and they push it down into their roots where it feeds the microbial life in the soil.

The USDA says that a teaspoon of productive soil generally contains between 100 million and 1 billion microbes. A ton of microbes may be active in each acre of soil.

Microbes are carbon-based organisms, just like us and all life on earth. A ton of microbes in the soil is a ton of carbon in the soil.

Conventional ag, that uses pesticides, kills the microbes in the soil and emits carbon. Regenerative ag feeds the soil and, thus, increases the number of microbes that sequester carbon.

In the data management plan of the application for the USDA/NIFA BFRDP grant that we submitted, we said that we would measure the amount of carbon that we sequestered in the soil.

I am going to be responsible for this but I had no idea how to do it until I came across this video. Got a call with Dr. Covey scheduled for this Friday.




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