DEEPENING THE ROOTS OF CONSERVATION
A BETTER BOTTOM LINE FOR RANCHERS
Farming helps our community in more ways than one. While the concept of carbon farming is as old as the sun (plants use sunlight and CO2 to make roots and shoots), its practical application is receiving new interest and study. Enhanced carbon farming on ranchlands can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that's a good thing for our future.
Driven by the findings of the Marin Carbon Project, Solano Land Trust is teaming up with the Carbon Cycle Institute and other researchers to explore how soil enhancements may allow the soil to absorb additional carbon, and how that might benefit ranchers.
Recently, Solano Land Trust took 45 cubic yards (three dump truck loads) of compost and spread it with a modified manure spreader on several one-acre plots at Rush Ranch. The Carbon Cycle Institute donated the spreader and Recology, a local resource recycling company, donated half of the compost.
We are testing if carbon farming has the potential to increase a rancher’s bottom line. We want to know if these practices produce better foraging material for cattle, and if the increase in plants and roots will store enough carbon to be monetized in a carbon market.
Initial results are promising. This work may help to stabilize the climate, contribute to water conservation, and make soils more productive. Together, we are working to find solutions that help farmers and ranchers thrive. The support of our members makes finding solutions to tomorrow's challenges possible.
Photo credits: Aleta George, Steve Kohlmann