Change From the Ground Up
Soil carbon is second only to Earth’s oceans in terms of total carbon found within our planet’s ecosystems. Estimates put the amount at over 3,000 gigatons. For reference, just one gigaton is equivalent to 200 million elephants!
When farmers use conventional tilling methods, stored carbon is released into the atmosphere at a rate that’s greater than is being absorbed. Agriculture accounts for nearly 25% of all global greenhouse gas emissions, but agricultural crops also offer a potential solution through photosynthesis.
Carbon isn’t the only thing in abundance in soil—it’s also teeming with microbial life. This underground life accounts for 25% of Earth’s biodiversity. Biodiversity is a boon for farmers, with microbial interactions helping contribute to positive soil health.
When crops remove carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis, some of it is stored in stems, leaves and even underground in the soil through root systems. This is how crops give farmers a superpower to remove excess carbon in the atmosphere.
One way to reduce the amount of carbon released from the soil into the atmosphere? By reducing tilling. Strip- and no-till farming allows growers to plant crops without greatly disturbing the soil. Less tilling by machinery also means less carbon released through the burning of fossil fuels. Win-win!
Cover crops can also be used to maximize sustainability and soil health. They help feed soil organisms and protect soil from water erosion, pests and disease.
At Bayer, we’re empowering and rewarding farmers who use methods like cover crops or strip- and no-till farming. And with less carbon being released and more carbon being absorbed, we can provide a one-two-punch in the fight against climate change.