Carbon Farming

Transfer of atmospheric CO2into biotic and pedologic carbon (C) pools the plant ecosystem. Carbon enters the soil as root exudates or via decomposition of root or aboveground biomass. In the soil, C exists in root or microbial biomass, as bioavailable labile organic C, or as more recalcitrant C. Carbon exits the soil as direct emissions, or via root or microbial respiration, with microbial-mediated soil respiration being the major source of CO2 from terrestrial ecosystems. Carbon is also lost from the ecosystem as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and methane (CH4). 

Carbon Farming is a whole farm approach to optimizing carbon capture on working landscapes by implementing practices that are known to improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and stored in plant material and/or soil organic matter. Carbon Farming is a framework for engaging with the agroecosystem processes that drive system change. Carbon farming explicitly recognizes that it is solar energy that drives farm ecosystem dynamics and that carbon is the carrier of that energy within the farm system. Carbon farming is synonymous with the term ”regenerative agriculture” when that term is explicitly rooted in an understanding of the underlying system dynamics and positive feedback processes that actually make a “regenerative” upward spiral of soil fertility and farm productivity possible.