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Carbon farming in USA, example, how to do carbon-neutral farming, and methods

An increasing percentage of atmospheric carbon is a big cause of global warming.  Not just the industrialization increased carbon percentage but many agricultural activities are also responsible for this. It starts from agriculture and affects agriculture badly.

Let's understand carbon-neutral farming and how to improve soil carbon through agricultural practices. 

Carbon farming in USA

The carbon farming method uses to optimize the percentage of carbon in the soil and atmosphere. Through this method, we try to reduce unnecessary or increased(non-balancing) percentage of carbon in the atmosphere and transfer it directly to the soil. 

Carbon farming USA

Plants consume carbon through the roots and transfer it further in the synthesis sections. Thus, we can reduce a good amount of carbon from the atmosphere through carbon farming.  

Causes of carbon emission in the USA through agricultural activities

There are several causes of carbon emission in the atmosphere through agricultural activities or agriculture. Following are one by one briefly explained causes of carbon emission and global warming-

  • Tillage farming

In most seasonal agricultural crop cultivation, plowing land before sowing seeds is important. But continuous open plowing of fertile land causes a decrease the soil fertility and kills the microorganisms. Repeating open plowing through the heavy machines, unmask the natural soil fertility and release the soil carbon fast. It is a big problem because most crop production practices with the open tillage method. 

  • Overuse of high Nitrogen-containing fertilizers

On less or least fertile soil, overuse of Nitrogen-containing fertilizers can increase production for a time but in long-terms, it decreases the natural carbon of the soil. 

  • Same crop cultivation

Continuous repetition of the same crops decreases some particular elements from the soil. Later, we use the same elements in chemical form from the market and ruin the soil fertility. 

It is also a reason for the continuous decrease in soil carbon without any diverse support for the crops. 

  • Aforestation

With the rapid increase rate of the global population, people move towards natural forests for more space, timber, and food production. 

In the last 300 years, aforestation is a major cause of global warming and the increase in atmospheric Carbon. 

Methods of Carbon farming in the USA

  • No-tillage farming

The no-tillage method is used with sandy soil or any other less moist soil. In this method, farmers practice crop cultivation without making any disturbance in the soil by tillage machines. 

It is helpful to prevent soil erosion, keep the soil moist, maintain the percentage of Carbon in the soil, and helpful for high yield. 

  • Crop rotation and mixed cropping

Crop rotation is used to keep soil naturally fertile and productive for longer periods. But the rotation of crops must complement each other. 

Let's understand with an example. Suppose, a soil sample contains A, B, C, D, and E elements and the soil is naturally fertile. Suppose you are growing crop X in a season. X absorb elements C, D, and E from the soil and left A and B. Then in the next season, you should rotate the crop that only absorbs elements A and B. Thus both are complementary. 

Meanwhile, in both seasons, soil naturally maintains the required components and remains fertile.

To increase Carbon in soil, we use those crops during rotation that don't require a high percentage of Nitrogen and Potassium.  

  • Organic farming and mulching

Organic farming and mulching both methods increase Carbon in the soil but both are used differently. Mostly, mulching is used with yearly crops or with tree farming but organic farming can be used with short-period crops, seasonal crops, and yearly crops. 

Organic compost contains a high percentage of decomposed organic materials that increase Carbon in the soil. Mulching is the covering of crops to hold moisture in the soil. We use dry leaves and wooden and wheat chaff for mulching. Later, these materials decomposed naturally and mix with soil. Thus mulching increases soil fertility and the percentage of Carbon in the soil. Organic farming and mulching increase the microorganisms in the soil. 

  • Precision farming

Precision farming is an AI-based agricultural technique in that we use a multiple-stage function of the agriculture system. In this, soil mapping, remote sensing, drone irrigation, soil health and regeneration, and quality production are the main purposes. We can use precision farming to check carbon and other elements' presence in the soil precisely and control their availability in the soil. 

Although precision farming requires a huge investment for installation and running it is a very effective and precise method to increase soil fertility and the percentage of carbon in the soil. 

Is carbon farming effective to reduce atmospheric temperature in USA?

Yes. At a certain limit. But to recover from an increase in atmospheric carbon, we need to reduce our carbon-increasing activities. 

Carbon farming can help to increase soil fertility and overall quality. Also, for long periods, it can help to drop the temperature naturally of that particular place. 

It is seen with a sample of 10 years model that Carbon farming can help to reduce the temperature from 1.2 to 2.3 degrees Celcius naturally. 

We can say that Carbon farming is very effective to reduce atmospheric temperature and increase natural soil carbon.

Carbon-neutral farming example

In India, Kerela is the first district to adopt carbon-neutral farming. The state government proposed to work in two phases to implement carbon-neutral farming in 2022. In the first phase, the government will implement carbon-neutral farming on 13 farms, and in the second phase, it will be implemented all around the state to optimize carbon emissions.
The purpose of carbon-neutral farming is to improve soil health, reduce carbon effects and optimize the atmospheric temperature.
It is targeted in the long term to reduce the atmospheric temperature of Kerela up to 3.5 degrees Celcius by 2050. 
For carbon-neutral farming, the government is going to implement extensive farming methods along with no-tillage farming, precision farming, organic farming, reforestation, and crop rotation, and mixed farming at a very big scale.

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