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Carbon Farming Benefits Soil, Water and Climate

Blogpost published on: Friday, February 13th, 2015

State of the Soil Conference

Ranching and farming practices can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing atmospheric carbon into soil.

Last week, 50 soil scientists, ranchers, farmers and carbon farming advocates from around the United States gathered for a “State of the Soil” conference at Paicines Ranch in San Benito County, California. OAEC Executive Director Dave Henson co-organized and facilitated the conference, and OAEC Biologist Brock Dolman was among the meeting participants.

State of the Soil ConferenceThe 3-day conference focused on assessing what we know – and what we still need to know – about how ecologically restorative ranching and farming practices can both capture atmospheric carbon into soil, and reduce the C02 and other greenhouse gas emissions that are driving global climate change. Presentations and discussions covered a wide range of “carbon farming” practices, including:

  • minimizing tillage
  • cover cropping
  • using green manure and on-site compost
  • increasing soil carbon on rangeland by using “mob” and rotational grazing strategies and by focusing on landscape-scale water sequestration

The meeting yielded a new multi-region soil-carbon research collaborative, and the beginnings of a more unified communications strategy for this growing community of researchers, practitioners and advocates. Read a detailed account of the meeting by writer and rancher Julie Morris of Morris Grassfed Beef.

For more information about the state of soil carbon, check out the following resources: