Carbon Farming in Colorado

When a boat is sinking, two things need to be done to save the boat. You must plug the leak and bail out the water. Doing one without the other will leave the boat in a dangerous situation. Currently, many governments and activist groups are focusing on only one piece of our perilous climate situation: stopping the leak. A key part of the story is being left out.

Carbon farming

We need to bail out the boat by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere if we want to successfully return our Earth to a resilient state. Humanity is altering systems that will take centuries to restore with current technology, yet there is a ‘technology’ that has been around for a millenia that can help solve our climate crisis. 

Healthy soil.

  • Over the past 30 years, Colorado has warmed 2° F

    Increased pests and negative impacts on human health

  • Days above 95°F will increase by 13 to 28 days by 2050

    Increased wildfire duration and intensity

  • Snowpack will decrease by 60% over the next 30 years

    Decreased water availability, increased food insecurity, and a dying ski industry

A Solution to Drawing Down Carbon:

Renewable energy and electric vehicles are leading the way to stop emissions. Yet, they are a partial solution, that do not address all of our impacts or the carbon already in the atmosphere. Our planet is facing a multifaceted problem that needs comprehensive solutions. One solution that has the potential to address all of these challenges and pioneer the future of carbon markets has been in front of us for 10,000 years. Carbon farming. Carbon Farming is the explicit use of agriculture to sequester and store carbon in soil and vegetation. We can drawdown our emissions by revitalizing soils, providing food security through higher yields, reduced need for inputs, while building an educated community around carbon farming. It’s relatable, tangible, and realistic.

Carbon Farming:

Carbon Farm Planning is a holistic model to implement an array of carbon-beneficial practices to create agroecosystems that optimize economic, ecological and carbon abundance. Carbon farming uses proven regenerative agricultural practices to sequester (remove) more carbon from the atmosphere than it produces, also known as a carbon negative practice. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Colorado State University (CSU) have identified 34 regenerative practices that are carbon negative. Research shows that carbon farming practice has the potential to remove massive amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Regenerative agriculture can remove 23.15 billion tons of CO2 by 2050

Managed grazing can remove 16.34 billion tons of CO2 by 2050

Conservation Agriculture can remove 17.35 billion tons of CO2 by 2050

Farmland Restoration can remove 14.08 billion tons of CO2by 2050

The research is clear that we can remove carbon from the atmosphere with carbon farming,

it’s only a matter of implementing the practices. (Reference)

You might be asking yourself how we calculate the carbon being sequestered from the atmosphere when producers transition to carbon farming.

We use a combination of on the ground testing with QuickCarbon‘s handheld spectrometer combined with Nori’s verification protocol using COMET-Farm to accurately quantify the amount of carbon being stored in Colorado’s soils. Once we definitely calculate how much carbon is stored due to the adoption of a specific practice, we are able to verify it as a carbon offset. Then when businesses or individual’s make a donation, we retire that carbon offset (so it can’t be double counted), and then reinvest funding in further projects.

In Colorado; Boulder County, Mad Agriculture, the NRCS, and CSU have partnered to study, develop, and implement these carbon farming practices. Combining the tools, information, and teams at the Marin Carbon Project, the Savory Institute, the Carbon Cycle Institute and the COMET Farm tool we are creating a holistic solution that aggregates data from multiple disciplines to focus on our core human needs.

Healthy soil, healthy people, and a healthy planet.

© Copyright 2019 - Colorado Carbon Fund - Natural Capitalism Solutions