Let Carbon Boost Returns

When it comes to cashing in on carbon sequestration, no-tillers are way ahead of the game. Even though there are many methods of reducing carbon dioxide emissions — such as increasing efficiency in automobiles and industry, or developing cleaner energy sources with solar and wind power — the possibilities of no-till are becoming more widely recognized.

As a result, you may earn anywhere from $4 to $30 an acre for sequestering carbon in your no-tilled fields. With widespread carbon sequestration in no-till, American farmers could reduce carbon dioxide emissions 20 percent per year, say officials of the Consortium for Agricultural Soils Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases (CASMGS). This is a $15 million project that’s being carried out by 10 Midwestern universities to show farmers how to keep carbon in the soil rather than releasing it to the atmosphere.

These researchers are convinced that no-till is probably the best way to control carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that is a serious global warming issue.

Part of the CASMGS project is to convince farmers that no-tilling for carbon sequestration is worth the environmental and economic benefits. “You have a greater chance of succeeding by pushing environmental practices where you have an economic benefit like carbon credits,” says Sylvie Brouder, a Purdue University researcher. “Even small payments can act as an incentive for farmers to take a risk.”

What Is It?

Carbon sequestration delays the decomposition of organic matter left over from crops after harvest. As plants grow, they remove carbon dioxide from the…

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Lessiter frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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