Introducing livestock in a cropping system creates more ways for carbon to flow and transform. Read on for a better understanding of just how livestock change 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?
Changing management practices can help sequester carbon in the soil and improve overall soil health. But how deep does that organic carbon go?
Adverse weather and extreme climatic events can hinder storage or even release large amounts of soil carbon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Management practices either improve or set back soil carbon sequestration, beginning with the soil and moving through crop production.
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?
All aspects of crop production that involve keeping the soil covered, minimizing disturbance, and agronomic management can help sequester carbon and reduce emissions.