By Kinsie Rayburn

Agriculture as a carbon sink?

February 22, 2021

“Land management is the second largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions on planet earth”- The Carbon Cycle Institute (CCI)

According to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, there are 899,500,000 acres of farmland in the United States. Farmland falls under the term “land management” used by CCI. This means that agriculture has the potential to play a big role in carbon sequestration, going from Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emitting to CO2 capturing.

The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) created a ranking tool that uses a 9 step, sliding scale to gauge how certain agricultural practices impact Greenhouse Gas emissions and Carbon Sequestration. The practices found to have the highest potential for sequestering carbon included cover cropping, no-till, stirp till, and direct seed, and nutrient management. 

Estimates show that not only does agriculture have the potential to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions, but could actually become net-negative, helping contribute to overall climate mitigation needs. And we’re already on our way. In research recently conducted by Trust In Food™ on how leaders in ag retailer are impacting the adoption of  conservation agricultural products and practices, it was found that more than three-quarters of the 73 ag retail respondents recommend these very practices, through soil tests, in-season nitrogen, nitrification inhibitors, and cover cropping. 

The challenges are real and the timeframe is long but the potential for improvement is great- 899,500,000 acres of potential, to put a number to it.

Additional Insights

The American Rancher

time icon

February 22, 2021

How the old-school cowboy identity can adapt to a connected world and play the crucial role in the future…

Building Farmer Peer Learning Networks

time icon

February 22, 2021

THE ISSUE: How to best leverage farmers’ most trusted and preferred way of learning to increase conservation? Research consistently…

Sustainable produce is about more than just in-the-ground practices

time icon

February 22, 2021

One of the first things I talk to specialty crop producers about is how they keep their records. And…

We appreciate you contacting us!

We’ve received your message and we’ll be reaching out to you shortly!

— Your Trust in Food Team