Several key organizations have gathered in St. Louis, Missouri this week to delve into soil health as a key element in carbon sequestration efforts. “C-Quest: Charting a Course for Climate Research in Agriculture,” featured the Soil Health Partnership (SHP), a farmer-led initiative of the Nation Corn Growers Association. Together with Monsanto Company, Washington University in St. Louis, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, Howard G. Buffet Foundation and the United States Department of Agriculture, The ILSI Research Foundation has been hosting this event to share solutions.
The conference focused on developing research targets for agricultural goals that:
- Support achievement of USDA’s “building blocks” for climate-smart agriculture
- Integrate existing U.S. Midwest field research networks (like SHP) for climate adaptation
- Develop a research agenda to achieve a “carbon-neutral” agri-food system in the U.S. through a focus on soil carbon and soil health, including validation of soil carbon protocols.
“It’s exciting to see agricultural improvements that impact soil health recognized as an emerging opportunity to optimize productivity, sequester carbon and improve protection of our natural resources, like water,” said Soil Health Partnership Director, Nick Goeser. “We’re honored to participate in this discussion, and to see farmers recognized whole-heartedly as a part of the solution.”
The SHP is a leader in field-scale testing and measuring of more than 65 farm sites to lean what management practices improve soil health. Growers are learning more about practices like cover crops to prevent erosion and nutrient loss, conservation tillage like no-till or strip till, and using science-based nutrient management techniques to reduce nutrient loss.