Farmers and ranchers have a very important role to play in establishing the Northwest as a biocarbon solutions leader. Standard practices on crop and range lands too often essentially mine carbon from the soil that took millennium to build up. Biocarbon-friendly farming and ranching build carbon-rich soils and long-term fertility, while supplying healthier food.
Biocarbon friendly agricultural practices include:
- Planting crops without tilling the soil;
- Replacing artificial nitrogen fertilizers with organic compost and other carbon-filled soil amendments; and
- ‘Holistic range management’ techniques that raise premium grass-fed beef while restoring the soil vitality of our grasslands.
Meet John Aeschliman
John Aeschliman has been farming the rolling hills of eastern Washington with a no-till drill for over 25 years. John’s no-till farming practices retain significant amounts of carbon in the soil, which is beneficial both for his crops and our atmosphere:
NBI Innovation Partners in agriculture:
Re-grounding Agriculture: Restoring the Soil
Farm practices to build soil carbon, fertility and moisture while cutting fuel and fertilizer costs
--Patrick Mazza, Research Director, Climate Solutions (July 2010). Part of a series of briefing papers on biocarbon that focus on how the Northwest can mount regional initiatives to accelerate biocarbon progress.