“Land management is the second largest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions on planet earth. Agriculture is the ONE sector that has the ability to transform from a net emitter of CO2 to a net sequestration of CO2 — there is no other human managed realm with this potential.”
- Carbon Cycle Institute
Red Hen is on a quest to more deeply understand the issues of carbon management and sequestration in no-till/minimum-till cropping systems. We would like to better understand the possibility that techniques of blockchain distributed ledgers for spatially accurate measurement of soil carbon will enable soil carbon sequestration to participate in Cap and Trade programs. If a spatial auditability is possible through an acceptable blockchain design, most of the generally vexing and frustrating shortfalls in banking on soil carbon sequestration flux might be overcome?
There is qualified speculation that no-till and strip-till cropping systems can sequester annually upwards of 1,000 lbs C per acre. If atmospheric carbon flux is of interest to us generally and if soil carbon cycling really is the single largest carbon sink with technology systems that can be managed drivers for portion of this absorption, then there is merit in speculating on these naturally occurring sequestered soil carbon inventories too? These tools should be excellent, free, and integratable.
We just need a reliable way to measure the annual flux and accumulations. These measurement processes also can be a feature of blockchained carbon trade and records independence? The Veris Technology in Salina, KS offers a successful implementation of direct contact sensors to initiate the protocol to enable this.
I am a soil carbon advocate as it has many beneficial and some will speculate almost magical properties for farmers as a proxy for healthy regenerating soils, nutritional quality on our common table, and the wider issues of sustainability. It also requires the enterprise expression of soil sciences be broken into its organic processes versus the chemical. Soil productivity and its fertility status are intertwined through soil organic materials, their flux, and the generalized “integrated” quality of our farming systems.
Crop residues protects farm and field, its energy feeds all the important critters and fungi that makes dirt soil, and its presence adds deep nutrient charging and retention though its CEC qualities. Darwin was fascinated by the living soil and its relationship to his general work in natural systems. In the tail of his life, he took time to honor the common earthworm. Earthworms was Darwin’s last book that re-summarized his lifetime of thoughts about soil vegetable mould, aka soil organic materials.
According to Marin Carbon Project research, sequestration of just one metric ton per hectare (1,000 lbs/ ac aprox.) on half the rangeland area in California would offset 42 million metric tons of CO2e, an amount equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from energy use for all commercial and residential sectors in California.