How can ‘cover crops’ help fight climate change?
Environment Climate Change carbon sequestration

How can ‘cover crops’ help fight climate change?

James Mwangi Ndiritu
James Mwangi Ndiritu

In 10 seconds? Scientists suggest to enlist nature to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Research shows that planting so-called cover crops could lock 10-20 tons of CO2 per hectare in the soil every year.

What’s the significance of this research? It shows that cover crops can help partially offset greenhouse emissions from human activities (including agriculture), and to improve the health of the soil – a win-win situation. Consider this: intensive agricultural practices aimed at profit maximization, have promoted the monoculture system associated with increased carbon emissions, and leading to the degradation of soil. For example, researchers have found that in the Midwestern USA, large scale corn production has reduced soil carbon content by −1.14 ± 0.63 ton per hectare per year while soybean production has removed −1.20 ± 0.06 ton of carbon per hectare per year.

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