Encouraging meaningful change from the ground up, Indigo Ag has recently developed an initiative to deploy the most immediate, affordable and scalable opportunity to address climate change: agricultural soils. Currently available in the US, farmers are provided with the financial incentive to practice soil management and farming practices that sequester carbon.
Indigo Agriculture Australia’s Bill Dwyer explained that the concept was part of a wider carbon sequestration project run by Indigo, The Terraton Initiative, aimed to remove one trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by increasing soil carbon concentration.
“Soil carbon sequestration is a process in which Carbon Dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and stored in the soil carbon pool.”
“Increasing soil carbon – the carbon preset in its various forms in the soil - has long been recognized as an effective agronomic management tool, with an increase in organic soil matter the key component of healthy soil and carbon storage.”
Increasing organic matter efficiently stores carbon dioxide through the retention of moisture and nutrients, encouragement of beneficial soil organisms, reduction of soil erosion and ultimately facilitating an increased productivity capability.
Dwyer said that in the US Indigo Ag had created Indigo Carbon, a carbon market to further encourage the adoption of farming methods that improve soil carbon sequestration.
“In the US, Indigo Ag is offering an attractive price for carbon — growers who join Indigo Carbon within the first 12 months will be eligible for a minimum of $15 per metric tonne of carbon dioxide sequestered. The market price will ultimately be set by supply and demand. The program has already seen a strong farmer sign-up, demonstrating that this new initiative has financial appeal.”
A further potential component in the process is Indigo Ag’s plant based technology, a microbial seed inoculant aimed at improving crop health and productivity in the face of environmental stress.
The benefit to growers, and the environment, will be two-fold, Dwyer believed, with the seed coatings reducing the need for nitrogen and phosphorous - two elements that ultimately increase carbon sequestration.
“Farmers do not have to commit to buying the microbial seed inoculant to get into the market, but we believe they will see better returns if they do.”
Practices such as reduced tillage, crop rotation, and cover cropping are all effective methods in encouraging soil carbon sequestration.
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