Improving Soil Health
ARDMORE, Okla. — Today, a national coalition convened by the Noble Research Institute announced its intent to create a new voluntary environmental services market that benefits agricultural producers and improves the environment for society at large.
This program aims to incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health on working agriculture lands through the development of a market-based platform. Implementing sustainable agricultural production practices and technologies can create positive social, economic and environmental outcomes. Healthy soils can sequester carbon, improve water quality, control run-off and reduce water demand, all of which create a cleaner environment. Healthy soils also improve crop yield and resilience while decreasing farmers’ and ranchers’ need for agricultural inputs.
“Farmers and ranchers are the unsung heroes of our world. Their hard work feeds and clothes us. Their dedication is the foundation for our society,” said Bill Buckner, Noble Research Institute CEO and president. “This market-based approach seeks to reward farmers and ranchers for the land stewardship they practice for the benefit of all of us. The focus will be on monetizing soil health to reward those farmers and ranchers who are actively adopting and improving practices that protect our environment. We see our work as a model from which the program can expand to capture additional environmental and ecosystem benefits for all participating agricultural producers.”
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the agriculture sector accounts for roughly a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. With the support of ecosystem services markets, however, agriculture can mitigate up to 89 percent of its emissions by incentivizing farmers and ranchers to sequester carbon in the soil.