soil carbon


Before switching to no-till, farmer Gary Hula described the soil as having the consistency of flour. Just four years later and the structure and moisture in the soil is undeniable. Photo courtesy USDA/Flickr

Farmers Are Excited About Soil Health. That’s Good News for All of Us.

, senior analyst, Food and Environment

“When we think about the challenges in agriculture, carbon—and how to sequester it—is near the top.” So said Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), in opening the grassroots organization’s 2019 annual convention in March. Storing carbon in farm soils is an important climate change solution, but building the health of those soils is also critical for ensuring clean water for communities and helping farmers be productive while coping with the consequences of a climate that is already changing. And throughout the NFU’s three-day gathering, the phrase “soil health” and talk about strategies to achieve it seemed to be on everyone’s tongue.

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Let’s Celebrate Soil! New Science and Stories for World Soils Day

, senior scientist

There’s never a bad time to celebrate soil—it’s an incredible living ecosystem and a foundation for much of the food, fiber, and fuel we use every day. But if there was ever a time when celebrating soil seemed particularly important, it might be now. And it’s not just because another World Soils Day has rolled around. Read more >

Photo: NRCS Soil Health/CC BY 2.0 (Flickr)
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Photo: USDA-NRCS

On World Soils Day, Five Fun Facts About the Underdog of Natural Resources

, Kendall Science Fellow

Happy World Soils Day! We seem to hear a lot about the importance of clean water and clean air, but soils less frequently get the attention they deserve. Read more >

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Soil cross-section
Protecting and increasing soil carbon and soil health in agricultural soils is critical for both climate change mitigation and adaptation. Photo: USDA-NRCS

Soil Carbon Can’t Fix Climate Change By Itself—But It Needs to Be Part of the Solution

, senior scientist

A rigorous study just published in the prestigious journal Science argues that soil alone cannot be can be counted on to save us from climate change. Yet the stark analysis does not undermine the importance of better understanding, protecting, and building carbon in soils (“carbon farming”). In fact, the findings reinforce the need for soil carbon science and action to remain priorities, especially when it comes to agriculture. Read more >

Photo: USDA-NRCS
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Soils to Reverse Climate Change: “Carbon Farming” and the Untapped Potential in Ecological Approaches

, Kendall Science Fellow

Are there agricultural practices that might offer more potential than the ones commonly discussed in the “carbon farming” conversation? In a companion post, I wrote about what the science tells us about cover cropping and reduced tillage, two practices getting a lot of attention in what I’ve called the “carbon farming” rage. Read more >

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