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How Does Soil Biology Impact Nutrient Availability?

Managing soil microbes could be an excellent way to increase nutrient availability and improve nutrient health.

podcast
Optimizing Nutrient Cycling for Nutrient Dense Crops

Nutrient cycling has a profound impact on nutrient content in crops at harvest. What can farmers do to grow the most nutrient-dense crops?

podcast
Harnessing Farm Data: Practical Strategies for Optimizing Efficiency

Agricultural data expert Ben Craker shares invaluable insights on the importance of efficient farm data management, offering practical strategies to optimize agricultural operations and enhance overall farm success.

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Keep It on the Farm: Farmers Share Ways to Improve Soil Health

Get ready for a down-to-earth journey with three farmers who share practical strategies for keeping your farm’s topsoil right where it belongs—on your land.

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Better Aggregates, Better Soil: Farmers Dig Into Aggregates for Soil Health

A soil "aggregate" is a clump of soil particles that form around soil organic matter. They're a key indicator of healthy soils, and three farmers discuss what aggregates mean for their on-farm soil health.

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Can Cover Crops & No-Till Reduce Dairy Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Reducing dairy greenhouse gas emissions is a whole-farm task. Cover crops and no-till are just one part of the solution.

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Can You Earn Carbon Credits on Pasture & Rangeland?

Four principles set the foundation for sequestering carbon in rangelands and pasture, but what are the options for carbon markets?

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How Does Applied Manure Impact Soil Microbes & Soil Carbon Sequestration on Cropland & Pasture?

Animal manure can boost microbial activity in the soil. It's a good way to add nutrients, improve crop growth, and promote healthy soils when used correctly. Check out this article for resources!

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Soils & Policy #3: Carbon Markets

Carbon markets have gotten a ton of buzz. From a policy perspective, what are the strengths, limitations, and opportunities for carbon markets in the U.S.?

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Soils & Policy #2 : Direct Incentive Payments

Direct incentives are cash payments that can make it easier for growers to change their management practices. What are the strengths, limitations, and opportunities payment programs?

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Basic Principles for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Dairy Farms

Principles and strategies for reducing your on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, one small tweak at a time.

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Where Do Greenhouse Gases Come from on Dairy Farms?

Enteric methane, manure, animal feed, and farm resources are the four big sources of on-farm GHG emissions. Read on to find out how emissions compare.

podcast
What We Know (& Don’t Know) About Enteric Methane Emissions

Enteric methane is potent, short-lived, and a major target for reductions to improve the sustainability of livestock production.

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What Is Enteric Methane?

Methane is a product of enteric fermentation in a ruminant animal's gut. Read on to find out why it's important, and ways we can reduce enteric methane to improve livestock production.

explainer
Breaking Down the Growing Climate Solutions Act

The Growing Climate Solutions Act (GCSA) is a relatively new law that is uniquely positioned to help farmers evaluate and participate in carbon markets. Dive in and learn about what the GCSA includes and how it might help farmers.

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Improving Dairy Water Quality

Improving water quality on the dairy farm is all about keeping nutrients in the right place. Whether it's manure or fertilizer for crops, implementing cover crops, grassed waterways, and retention ponds can help. Check it out.

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Soils & Policy #1: Soil Health Initiatives

Policies aimed at improving soil health have been on the books for decades. State-driven soil health initiatives are one that have helped preserve soil resources and sequestered carbon in the process. But what are their strengths, limitations, and future opportunities?

podcast
Measuring Soil Water Potential to Maximize Farm Water Use

Deciding when to irrigate can feel like half art, half science. But measuring soil water potential can help make even better use of limited water by showing you how much water is actually available to plants.

podcast
Can Blockchain Make Carbon Markets More Transparent?

Carbon markets have hit a few hiccups. One is transparency: how much are carbon credits worth and where’s the money going? Blockchain could help.

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Can Remote Sensors Measure Soil Carbon?

Not directly--you're still going to need field samples. But there are some ways that remote sensing can help with monitoring. Read on to find out how.

podcast
Can Rangelands Store Soil Carbon?

Nearly 30% of the entire land cover of the United States is rangeland. Finding ways to improve carbon sequestration in rangeland soils can boost soil health, improve farmer profits, and make great use of potential untapped carbon sinks

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How Do Remote Sensors Work?

Remote sensing is a promising way to track all sorts of agricultural data. It's a useful tool for estimating yield, mapping boundaries, understanding soil types and properties, and giving early plant stress warnings. But how does it work?

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What Do Microbes Do in the Soil?

Soil microbes decompose plant matter, help aggregate soil particles, cycle nutrients, and much more. Discover the seven functions of soil microbes: read on.

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What Are the Potential Ecosystem Benefits of Turfgrass?

Turfgrass is everywhere--is it providing benefits to the people who use it? Read on and discover all the potential upsides of turfgrass, including economic, environmental, and societal benefits.

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How Can I Reduce Turfgrass Fertilization, Mowing, Irrigation, and Pesticide Use?

Homeowner, turfgrass professional, or turfgrass manager--we have tips to help you decrease turfgrass inputs while maintaining turfgrass quality and performance. Check it out!

podcast
Preserving Tribal Lands with Carbon Markets: National Indian Carbon Coalition

Protect, preserve, and create economic resources. This is the mission of the National Indian Carbon Coalition (NICC), which works with tribal members and leaders to develop carbon sequestration projects, protect tribal natural resources, and generate revenue for land acquisition and community development. 

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Could Worms Help Cut Emissions from Dairy Waste?

Dairies produce 1.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the US, and manure ponds are a big part of it. Could running liquid dairy waste through worm beds help cut dairy emissions?

video
Benefits Farmers Can Reap from Agroecosystem Management

The soil, crops, climate, plants, microbial, and animal life are all intertwined. Help them work together and reap the benefits of agroecosystem management on your farm.

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6 Ways to Cut Back on Greenhouse Gas while Cutting Your Grass

Lawns are everywhere--I bet you have one! Turfgrass, like all other plants, requires nutrients. And nitrogen fertilizers, lawn mowing, and other maintenance tasks can give off powerful greenhouse gases. Read on to learn how to cut greenhouse gas emissions from turfgrass systems.

podcast
Corn Stalks and Clover: Connecting Crop Residue and Soil Health

Crop residue is no waste--listen and learn how to use crop residue to feed soil microbes and add soil nutrients.

podcast
Hitting the “Easy Button” on Conservation Practices

It’s tough to get conservation practices from concepts to on-the-ground implementation. Listen as John Swanson talks through how you, too, can ”hit the easy button” on conservation practices.

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Can Plant Breeding Help Store More Soil Carbon?

Plant breeders have made incredible improvements to crops, from improving yield to boosting resilience and increasing pest resistance. But can plant breeding improve soil carbon storage?

explainer
Understanding the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Program

The US Department of Agriculture has invested $3.1 billion in the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities (PCSC) program. What are the challenges and opportunities the PCSC affords for facilitating coordinated data collection and MMRV?

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What Is Agroecosystem Management?

Agroecosystem management takes the whole agricultural system into account. Watch as Marshall McDaniel describes some of the co-benefits of this holistic approach to managing a field.

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How Does Compaction Impact Water Availability for Plants?

Soil compaction is the result of soil particles being squished closer together, reducing pore space and making it tougher for roots to grow and water to flow. Dig deeper into how compaction impacts water available for plant growth, and what you can do to prevent or fix it on your fields.

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How Do You Measure Soil Water?

Understanding how water moves through your fields can give you great insights into how plants might fare during times of excess rainfall, drought, and everything in between. Read on and find out how to measure your field's soil water.

podcast
How Does Soil Health Impact Water Quality?

Soil is the medium for plant growth, regulates chemical processes, and filters water. So how does soil health impact water quality?

podcast
Too Much of a Good Thing? Nutrients & Water Quality

Nutrients are essential for us to grow food, feed, fuel, and fiber. But what happens when there's too much of a good thing? 

article
What Is a Carbon Footprint?

From driving a car to buying groceries, many parts of our daily lives make up our carbon footprint. And the scope gets even bigger when you consider the carbon footprint of a whole organization.

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What Is a Carbon Offset?

We'd love to say it's possible to completely cut greenhouse gas emissions. But industries like transportation and manufacturing will always produce some amount of greenhouse gases. Offsets are one way to help.

podcast
What Can We Learn from Alberta’s Carbon Market?

Back in 2007, Alberta (one of Canada's 13 provinces) instituted new regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions, including a carbon market. So how did it go?

video
Taking Nitrous Oxide Samples in the Field

Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas with 300 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. How do we measure it in the field, and what can we do to cut emissions?

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How Deep Is Organic Carbon Stored in the Soil?

Changing management practices can help sequester carbon in the soil and improve overall soil health. But how deep does that organic carbon go?

podcast
What Are the Barriers Keeping Farmers Out of Carbon Markets?

Over 90% of farmers are aware of carbon markets, but only 3% of the surveyed farmers are participating in a market, according to a 2022 report by Trust in Food. Listen as Lee Briese describes some of the barriers keeping farmers out of carbon markets.

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What Makes a Quality Carbon Credit?

Additional practices, permanence, verification, and registration. The perfect blend for a quality carbon credit!

podcast
What Is Additionality?

When we talk about carbon markets, "additionality" is one of those terms that's tough to avoid. But what is additionality? And what does it mean when it comes to agricultural carbon? 

video
How Is Soil Sampling Changing?

The "gold standard" of soil sampling is getting physical samples from multiple spots throughout the field. But all that could be changing--watch Steven Hall explain why.

podcast
What Is Agriculture’s Role in Decarbonization & Carbon Markets?

Decarbonization is the push to hit "net zero" or "carbon neutral" emissions. But what does all that have to do with agriculture?

article
What Is Additionality in a Carbon Market?

“Additionality” is a huge component of verifying whether a carbon market is creating quality credits. It’s asking, “Is this project sequestering carbon or decreasing emissions in a way that would not happen otherwise?”

article
How Does Weather Impact Soil Carbon Storage?

Adverse weather and extreme climatic events can hinder storage or even release large amounts of soil carbon.

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What’s the Difference Between Total Soil Carbon & Soil Organic Carbon?

Total soil carbon includes both organic and inorganic carbon. Soil organic carbon includes the once-living matter from plants, dead leaves, roots, and soil microbes, while inorganic carbon is mineral-based and much less responsive to management.

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What Are Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions?

Owned, direct, indirect, energy, supply chains--what in the world counts as an emission for each scope?

podcast
Which New Technologies Could Impact Carbon & Ecosystem Markets?

New technologies could be the next big step in helping agricultural and environmental service markets gain ground. But how? And which technologies will be most helpful?

article
How Is Soil Carbon Measured, Reported, and Verified?

Measuring, reporting, and verifying soil carbon requires accurate collection of soil data, reporting in standardized units, and third-party checks.

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What Are the Drivers of Soil Organic Carbon Storage?

After adding additional plant matter to the soil, the biggest driver of storing soil organic carbon is the activity of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi, followed by soil texture.

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How Can Cover Crops Help Sequester Soil Carbon?

Cover crops provide an additional source of biomass to the soil. More biomass means more opportunities to sequester carbon!

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Which Countries Are Using Agricultural Carbon Markets?

Brazil, European countries, and the United States are among those focusing on agriculture’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sequestering carbon.

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Who Are the Buyers of Carbon Credits?

Potential buyers of carbon and ecosystem service credits include any business, government, industry, or individual interested in decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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What Are the Differences Between Voluntary & Compliance Markets?

Both voluntary and compliance carbon markets are trying to do the same thing--generate and sell credible carbon credits. But key differences arise when buyers and sellers opt in compared to mandated systems.

video
Using Integrated Pest Management to Improve Crop Resilience

Integrated Pest management (IPM) is a strategy to manage pest and disease threats to your crops. But it could have bigger benefits—it’s also an important part of your toolkit to improve crop resilience in the face of extreme weather events and changing conditions.

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Improving Crop Resilience with Seed Treatments

Temperature, rainfall, weather, pests, disease—there are lots of circumstances that can negatively impact your crops. But seed treatments are one tool in your toolkit to improve crop resilience.

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3 Ways to Reduce Crop Disease Pressure

When a host plant, virulent pathogen, and favorable environment are all in the same place at the same time, diseases can pop up. And nothing is worse than losing healthy plants to disease. Luckily, there are ways you can reduce disease pressure on your crops.

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How Should You Collect Soil Samples to Calculate Carbon Stock?

Collect samples to measure organic carbon concentration, bulk density, and coarse fragments. Together, these three measures can help you accurately calculate soil carbon stock in your fields.

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How Do You Calculate Soil Carbon Stock?

Calculating soil organic carbon stock requires measures of soil organic carbon concentration of the soil, bulk density, and coarse fragment content.

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What Is the Soil Carbon Pool?

A “carbon pool” is any part of the climate system with the capacity to store, accumulate, or release carbon, according to the European Union. The soil carbon pool includes all the carbon in the soil, but the size of the soil carbon pool can be changed depending on management.

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The Soil Health Benefits of Cover Crops

Wayne Fredericks, a farmer in Osage, IA, adopted cover crops after many years of no-till soybean and strip-till corn. Watch as he talks through the impacts of cover crops on his farm's soil, and how cover crops and reduced tillage can be complementary practices.

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Maximizing On-Farm Solar Energy Harvest with Cover Crops

Growing crops is all about making good use of solar energy. Though many farms only make use of the sun’s energy from about May through September, Wayne Fredericks maximizes his solar energy harvest with cover crops, improving his soil health in the process.

podcast
How Do You Measure Soil Health at Scale?

If you care about something, you measure it. Just as doctors recommend annual checkups, soil scientists recommend measuring soil health. But it's one thing to take samples in a single field--how do you measure soil health at scale?

podcast
What Are the Challenges for Measuring, Reporting, and Verifying Soil Carbon?

Carbon markets rely on accurate measurement, reporting, and verification (MRV) of soil carbon to issue carbon credits. But tallying soil carbon can be tricky. How should we go about sampling soil for MRV? And what does it tell us?

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What Is Agriculture’s Role in Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions?

Agriculture is often cited as a primary source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but crop production and land use account for just over 13% of food-related GHG emissions globally. Altogether, food production in every stage accounts for 26% of global GHG emissions.

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How Does Farm Management Impact Soil Health?

Healthy soils are teeming with life. Changing management practices to foster biological activity is the key to improving soil health.

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What Are Ecosystem Services?

The words “ecosystem services” capture all of those tangible and intangible ways in which human beings depend on, use, and benefit from the natural environment.

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How Much Farmland Is Eligible for Reduced Tillage or No-Till?

139 million acres of farmland in the US are still eligible to change crop production practices to reduce tillage, according to United States Department of Agriculture data from 2016.

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How Are Carbon Credits Priced & Sold?

Carbon credits in voluntary carbon markets are typically priced and sold by the market providers themselves. Like other consumer goods, prices for credits are influenced by supply and demand. As demand increases, so too could the average price paid per credit sold on the marketplace.

podcast
How Do You Measure soil carbon?

Agricultural soils hold great potential for sequestering carbon and improving soil health in the process. But how do you measure soil carbon?

explainer
Data Drives Decisions: Data Infrastructure for Climate-Smart Agriculture

Climate-smart agriculture relies on coordinating a complex suite of agricultural practices to provide ecosystem services, but measurement of these benefits is scattered. A national ecosystem services monitoring network could help.

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How Much Carbon Can the Soil Sequester?

The soil’s potential carbon capacity depends on soil type, climate, and management practices. No two soils will sequester carbon at the same rate or in exactly the same amount—different producers need to implement different practices depending on their land.

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What Are the Benefits of Increasing Agricultural Soil Carbon?

Increased soil water storage, improved biological activity, better soil aggregation, improved yield--these are just a few of the benefits of increasing agricultural soil carbon.

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How Does Carbon Cycle Through Agricultural Systems?

Carbon cycles through agricultural systems through plant photosynthesis, biomass decomposition, and animal production, with opportunities to improve carbon sequestration at each point in the cycle.

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How Does Crop Management Impact Carbon Sequestration?

Management practices either improve or set back soil carbon sequestration, beginning with the soil and moving through crop production.

podcast
How Does Carbon Get Into the Soil?

Sinking carbon into soil is a powerful tool in our toolbox to decrease or offset carbon emissions. But how does carbon get into the soil? And once it's there, how do we keep it there?

podcast
Story of Decode 6

Chris Boomsma, Director of Science & Strategy at the time of program launch, sat down to tell us: What is Decode 6?

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Which Farm Practices Reduce Emissions & Sequester Carbon?

All aspects of crop production that involve keeping the soil covered, minimizing disturbance, and agronomic management can help sequester carbon and reduce emissions.

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What Is a Carbon Registry?

A carbon registry is the central component of a carbon market trade, positioned between projects that store or offset carbon and buyers that purchase carbon credits.

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How Do Agricultural Emissions Compare to Other Sectors?

Compared to other sectors globally, food production (including retail, transport, processing, farming, and land use) accounts for 26% of all greenhouse gas emissions as of 2019.

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What Adds to Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions In the US?

Soil management is responsible for over half the greenhouse gas emissions generated by agriculture in the United States. Enteric fermentation—or gases created by livestock digesting their food—account for another 27%, and manure management another 14%.