There’s a lot of talk these days about carbon markets and how future farmers will be paid, not just for the crops they grow or the products they make, but also for what they can pull out of the atmosphere and lock up in their soil.
As the world looks to cut carbon emissions and remove existing carbon from the atmosphere, farms should be ground zero for mitigating the problem.
Farmer and carbon researcher, Ben Dobson, founder and president of Hudson Carbon in Hudson, New York, is doing a lot more than talking about it. Dobson has become somewhat of a pioneer in the carbon farming space, and his farm in the Hudson Valley is a soil laboratory where researchers are studying how organic regenerative farming can maximize carbon capture and restore ecosystems.
The work that Dobson is doing now could lead to farmers getting paid for their practices and ability to sequester carbon.
On this week’s Industrial Hemp Podcast, Lancaster Farming continues its journey of discovery into regenerative ag and how it relates to carbon in the soil and the atmosphere.
Farmers are collectively responsible for 60% of the Earth’s surface and how it’s treated, according to Dobson.
“We’re really managing and stewarding over half the Earth’s surface,” he said. “We need to regenerate this Earth surface into a healthy ecosystem in order to assure a future for our children and mitigate the worst effects of climate change.”
He defines regenerative farming as “a healthy management of the land that we farm to optimize the carbon cycle, biodiversity, the nutrient cycle and water holding capacity. And the outcome of this is healthy food for healthy people.”
In the interview, he discusses how plants use photosynthesis to pull carbon dioxide from the air and lock it up into the soil, giving farms an ecological value greater than what they get credit for.
“We don’t get to add the ecological value of our land or what services that provides on our balance sheet.” he said. “I’m a big proponent of what we call ‘developing ecological assets,’ where a carbon baseline — an understanding of the water flow of a farm, your biodiversity — develops a baseline value so that you actually have sort of an asset base for your farm based on its current ecology.”
Farmers would then apply for carbon credits which would act like a dividend.
Farms are very important, Dobson said, “but we actually need to add even more value to farms for what they already have, in terms of carbon in the soil, of course, or carbon in the trees, but also really the whole ecological function of the place.”
Plus, Cameron McIntosh from Americhanvre Cast-Hemp unveils the latest development in building the American hemp building industry. An American-built version of the Ereasy Spray-Applied Hempcrete System.