Innovation in soil sensors and monitoring technologies affords opportunities for water efficiency, carbon sequestration, and nutrient cycling in agricultural soils. In March, Greenleaf Communities held a workshop on Sensor Technologies and Applications to Soil Health with researchers, producers, and technology representatives to explore monitoring technologies and how sensors can be used to measure soil health attributes.
This led to our current project, “Advancing regenerative agriculture and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon markets.” We are working with a multi-generational farm in Illinois, Curtis Farms, to build a network of farmers that get paid well for practicing regenerative agriculture. Curtis Farms works with researchers and producers implementing a system that reduces fertilizer use and tillage passes, while increasing biological activity to improve soil health (e.g. soil organic carbon, cation exchange capacity, yield). The project will inform producers on regenerative practices and provide the data and verification needed for carbon market participation. Carbon sequestration will be quantified using sensors and models, and the farmers will sell carbon credits into an evolving marketplace, generating revenues for mitigating climate change. Stacking carbon credits on top of crop yields will reward farmers for the multiple contributions from sustainable practices. We hope that over time, even more farmers will adopt these practices to benefit their yields and protect the soil and environment.
Please contact Katie DeMuro at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to participate or learn more about this project.