Webinar: The Limits of Soil Carbon Sequestration

Published 2020-09-15
Regenerative agriculture has been heralded by policymakers, corporations, and farmers as a way to offset greenhouse gas emissions. But there’s a roiling debate about the potential of these practices to mitigate climate change and whether they should be supported through market mechanisms like carbon offset programs.

Join the Breakthrough Institute as we explore the climate mitigation potential of regenerative agriculture, the challenges of soil carbon markets, and implications for policymaking.

James Temple: Moderator, Senior Editor, MIT Technology Review
Aliza Wasserman-Drewes: Director, Rural Investment to Protect our Environment
Phil Gordon: Vice President, Michigan Corn Growers Association
Daniel Blaustein-Rejto: Director of Food and Agriculture, Breakthrough Institute

All Comments (6)
  • David White
    There is a chance, it’s possible, it could be that, there could be a wildfire or land could be built on......so negative Dan.
    Good to have so positivity from Aliza, go girl we’re behind you.
  • Chris Foreman
    Having just watched the documentary “Kiss the Ground” on Netflix this is a nice follow-up to that presentation.
  • Neil Havermale
    Farming systems are driven by two sets of factors: on-farm or endogenous versus off-farm or exogenous. Bringing our national farming systems to sustainable conditions means the field's T for its erosion condition is brought down to none or no more than its rate of soil generation. The sustainable cropping system also practices IPM, integrated pest management, as well as site-specific strategies for maximum economic yield.

    The endogenous purpose is essentially driven by the accrual of soil health benefits that occurs in no-till when soil life returns to the profile. Once the soil is no longer ripped and torn my plows, disks and chisels the soil regains its living condition. We term this as the biome and as living biomass these are the essential carbon accumulators: fungi, bacteria, worms, and many of the other living goodness. Once a soil is protected from tillage, it regains health and a new productivity balance. A healthy, well balanced, no-till cropping system in a corn-bean-wheat rotation has potential sequestration of 0.3 to 1.5 mtSOC. The conversion of SOC to CO2e is 1:3.67. The price of carbon is coming out of the shadows and on the moment settled at $20.50/CO2e. The prototype projects that are certifying and offering transaction are $17.50 for mtCOe from these soil sequestrations. $2.50 of that is for the cost of transaction so the farm-gate to the farm is $15.00 less his certifications. For one mtSCO/ac/yr project that is $55/acre gross. A thousand acre no-till outfit then would see a farm-gate ot $55,000/yr. Do that for ten years and it is $550,000 inventory of SOC.

    I am optimistic. Cost to measure SOC is rumored to be expensive and less that accurate. The method of point sample on 2.5 acre gird is old school. There are two sensors that can be drawn in a shank behind an opening colter that will directly senses in-situ soil carbon. Veris.com iSCAN and the AGCO smartFirmer can read SOC once a second or at normal speed a sample once every three to five meters 10 20 ft aprox. SO though spatial statistics the degrees of freedom allow ability to actually measure to the 4in1000 schedule.

    Once we have a market at $20.mtCO2e moves up to the $45 to $70/mtCO2e transaction value, farms will move on SOC in a BIG way. SO please lead, follow, or get out of the way. By 100% Made in USA Sequestrated Carbon from american farmers.
  • Adam Smith
    building soil organic matter in soil is good, we must do it, but not because of aiming solely to store carbon and then sell it to investors. Reduce use of fossil fuels, that represents 90% of global emissions, instead. Let's not get distracted. COMMODIFICATION OF MOTHER NATURE IS NOT CORRECT
  • Lidalur Lurano
    Aliza's words being largely ignored, then followed by mansplaining sounded pathetic