The economic demands on farmers and ranchers to maximize production on their land can inadvertently lead to damaging the soil. Unhealthy soil stores less carbon and depends on an increased use of chemicals and fertilizers which in turn can increase pollution and loss of soil to erosion. The good news is that the stewardship and determination of today’s agricultural producers can help solve these problems. And, under the 2020 Oregon Climate Action Plan, there is an opportunity right now to set ambitious new goals to address soil health and combat climate change.
Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration
Soil health is a term used to describe a ...
“We stand, in most places on earth, only six inches from desolation, for that is the thickness of the top soil level upon which the entire life of the planet depends."
When R. Neil Sampson wrote these words in 1981, climate change was barely on the radar screen. Today, we understand that soil health is key to protecting our climate.
2,300 gigatons of carbon are stored in the top three meters of the Earth's soil. That's more than the total amount in the atmosphere plus all of the vegetation on Earth.
When we disrupt the soil through farming or development, carbon is released into the atmosphere.
It's a big problem, but ...