The Terraton Experiment

The world’s largest soil carbon experiment

Advancing the science of soil carbon

Indigo, in partnership with the Rodale Institute and the Soil Health Institute, is spearheading a research study unprecedented in scale.  The Terraton Experiment will be conducted across tens of thousands of farms for over a decade. The goal: to quantify farming practices that maximize the amount of soil carbon and the rate that it accumulates, and to tailor them by region, crop, and soil type. We seek to answer these key questions:

  • Soil carbon—what processes maximize soil carbon and the rate of absorption?

  • Soil microbiologywhat microbes are correlated with carbon sequestration?

  • Grower profitability—how do carbon-enriched soils impact farm profitability?

  • Water infiltration—how much do soil carbon levels contribute to improved drought and flood resilience?

  • Crop quality—to what degree do healthier soils produce healthier crops?

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Pillars of The Terraton Experiment

Accelerate the opportunity

Increasing carbon levels in agricultural soils have the potential to improve farmer profitability, improve our food, and combat climate change. We know the incredible potential. Now we need your help in understanding how to get there faster.

Shift the paradigm

We’re exploring how and why the outcomes of practices such as reduced tillage, rotation, and cover cropping vary from farm-to-farm. Data that we collect from comparison studies will enable us to design customized management plans for individual growers, easing and expediting their transition from conventional to regenerative systems.

Open Quotation MarkWorking with Indigo, I hope to get more farmers to grow with a regenerative approach and improve the health of our global agricultural soils. If you are a conservationist, and a good steward of the land, then you are building soil health and will be better off financially. Soil health, to me, is the main driver for our farm and its success.Close Quotation Mark

Rick Clark

Regenerative Grower, Indiana

2019

Open Quotation MarkWorking with Indigo goes hand in hand with the soil-building strategy I already have in place by using top choice organic fertilizer and Indigo's microbes. I noticed a big difference between having it and not having it this year. Indigo helped grow healthier soybeans. With Indigo, I saw a lot of root mass and a much healthier plant which lead to increased yields anywhere from 5 bushes to 15 bushels.Close Quotation Mark

William Palsa

Arkansas

2018

Open Quotation MarkI’ve been no-till for close to 30 years, so my soil is in good health. No one was doing no-till 30 years ago, but I used to sit in the tractor and think that every time I’m tilling I’m losing four inches of moisture. The less you can till the ground, the better off you are.Close Quotation Mark

Michael Herrmann

Regenerative Grower, Kansas

2018

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