A recent study by researcher, Marc Kramer, from Washington State University once again shows the incredible storage capacity of soils for carbon.
Kramer, an assistant professor of environmental chemistry at WSU Vancouver notes that good agricultural practices make a difference as to how much carbon is stored in the soils and thus influences the amount of greehouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere.
He also says that many people don’t really understand just how much carbon soil can hold. In fact, soil holds more than three times the carbon found in the atmosphere. Given that our survival depends on our understanding and partnership with soil, it is ironic that as Kramer notes, “We know more about the surface of Mars than we do about either oceans or soils on Earth”
What is known about soil and carbon is that more than half of the global soil carbon pool is more than a foot beneath the surface and that the soil organic matter at that depth is almost entirely associated with minerals. Likewise, almost three-fourths of all carbon is sequestered in the top three feet of the soil, which is affected by agriculture, grazing or forest management.
In previous research Kramer documented how three farms converted to management-intensive grazing practices raised their carbon levels to those of native forest soils in just six years, a 75% increase. On the other hand, cultivation has decreased soil carbon levels by 1/2 to 2/3rds.
And while these farmers are increasing soil carbon they are also increasing production and profitability–a win/win for all.
Visit HMI’s Soil and Conservation page to learn more about how Holistic Management helps farmers and ranchers sequester more carbon in their soils.
A Season of Giving
At this time of the year, we often find ourselves counting our blessings while appreciating the gifts that we’ve been given.
Here at Holistic Management International, we’re no different. Here are just a few of the gifts that we’re grateful for:
The Gift of Healthy Land
Your gifts have put us on track to reach our 20/20 vision of 20 million additional acres of healthy land by the year 2020.
The Gift of Healthy Food
We have seen the Holistic Management community grow, supporting the work of creating healthy lands while producing the nutritious food that will feed communities across the globe.
The Gift of Knowledge
Your generous gifts have also allowed us to provide over $50,000 worth of scholarships since 2014.