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.

Get unlimited access to our 3-min Digests and other premium features!

Choose your plan.

Sparrow Insiders

$0 (Limited Offer)
  • Receive our daily Digest in your inbox
  • Created & reviewed by real scientists
  • Preview 380+ Digests in our library
  • Upgrade for unlimited learning
  • Unsubscribe anytime
  • Subject to availability
Join our first 25k subscribers for free! Signup Progress Bar Subscribe now for free

Sparrow Unlimited

$19 / month
  • Talk with our scientists and ask them anything
  • Access 380+ summaries anywhere, anytime
  • Listen to our premium podcast
  • Weekly newsletter of the top 5 scientific findings
  • Daily updates with new content
  • Support independent science publishing
  • No advertisement
  • Cancel anytime
Learn more Subscribe now

Sparrow Unlimited

$99 / year
  • One easy payment - save 56%
  • Talk with our scientists and ask them anything
  • Access 380+ summaries anywhere, anytime
  • Listen to our premium podcast
  • Weekly newsletter of the top 5 scientific findings
  • Daily updates with new content
  • Support independent science publishing
  • No advertisement
  • Cancel anytime
Learn more Subscribe now