NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- AgriCapture successfully implemented a 4,000-acre cover crop program after harvest in 2021. It is the largest ever cover cropping project of its kind in the Mississippi River Valley region. Cover crops are a key regenerative farming practice used to improve soil health, reduce erosion and sequester carbon from the atmosphere.
A mix of radish and cereal rye cover crops were planted across nine farms and over forty fields in Lee and Phillips County, Arkansas and Coahoma County, Mississippi. The cover crops will remain in the ground until the spring planting season, sequestering carbon throughout the winter months and regenerating soils for the 2022 crop year. AgriCapture plans to scale the program to 20,000 acres in 2022.
The 4,000 acres of cover crops are expected to have a tremendous environmental impact, sequestering an estimated 2,440 metric tons of carbon on an annual basis. This carbon sequestration is equivalent to offsetting the carbon footprint of 2.7 million pounds of coal per year. The cover cropped acres will also generate carbon offset credits as part of AgriCapture's "Soil Enrichment Project 1" registered with the Climate Action Reserve, a premier carbon registry.
Griffin Farms, which manages over 15,000 acres in the Mississippi River Valley, contributed 2,900 acres to the cover cropping program and will expand their acres in 2022. "Cover crops are important for building healthier soils on our farms, and they allow us to save money and burn less diesel during planting season," says David Griffin. "AgriCapture is collecting data on our land to quantify the positive impact of the cover crops on our soil and the environment."
"Despite their benefits to soil health and carbon sequestration, cover crops can be cost prohibitive to implement at scale," says Sami Osman, President of AgriCapture. "To solve this challenge, AgriCapture is helping farmers apply for USDA payments for cover cropping. The new USDA Cover Crop Initiative funding is vitally important to getting cover crops to scale in the Mid-South."