Carbon Farm Plans with the Gold Ridge RCD

Written By: Craig Macmillan, Ph.D., Agricultural Specialist, Gold Ridge RCD
Published: January 2, 2020

Building soil organic matter with various forms of carbon has multiple benefits to the farm and the environment including increased water holding capacity, better tilth, lower erodibility, and carbon dioxide sequestration from the atmosphere into the soil. Carbon farming is employing farming practices specifically to realize these benefits. Examples of carbon farming practices include cover cropping, compost applications, woody hedgerows/windrows, and no-till seeding.

A carbon farm plan helps a grower identify opportunities to sequester carbon while achieving multiple farm production goals. By identifying what practices fit within the farm’s current goals and practices, benefits can be achieved without dramatic changes to the current system. The carbon farm plan presents the grower with options to consider. It consists of a map and a list of established Best Management Practices (BMPs) selected specifically for that farm.

This is not another plan that sits on a shelf gathering dust. It is a prescription for better soil health, better water quality, and carbon dioxide sequestration. A carbon farm plan is easy to understand and can be implemented as individual practices or parts depending on the needs of the farmer/rancher.

If you would like a carbon farm plan for your farm or ranch the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District may be able to write one for you for free. Contact Craig Macmillan at craig@goldridgercd.org for more information.

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