Ranchers and farmers are on the front lines of the climate crisis and need to rapidly adapt to sustain their businesses — but how should they shift their operations to stay ahead in a fast-changing world? Public research hasn’t kept pace to answer that critical question. By filling this information gap, we can equip farmers, ranchers, and land stewards to transform their soils and forests into carbon sinks, bolstering resilience and securing the long-term viability of these efforts.

The next Farm Bill needs to reduce barriers and increase research for land-based carbon sinks

Government-funded research has powered some of the most influential innovation in America’s history; it’s time to turn that focus to our natural carbon sinks. While soil and forest carbon removal share many similarities in terms of their opportunities and barriers, we’ve identified the highest priorities for each:

  • Farmers need better tools to store and measure carbon in their soils

    Research into soil carbon storage isn’t where it needs to be, and neither are the tools that farmers have at their disposal. Today, soil carbon measurement and data management is unreliable, expensive, and time consuming. Policy could go a long way in providing affordable, data-backed tools and regionally relevant demonstration projects ensuring that producers can take informed steps toward carbon-removing soil systems on their land with confidence that it will pay off.

  • The government should provide incentives and a strategic plan to power reforestation

    The national seedling shortage is a major barrier to reforestation efforts, especially as increasing wildfires ramp up replanting needs. In parallel, land use competition and a lack of incentives make selling forestland more appealing than ever. We’ll need a robust workforce and planting strategy, keeping forests as forests and integrating productive trees into agricultural lands.

It’s time to invest in a climate-resilient future with robust soil carbon research and monitoring, expanded agroforestry practices, and a seed-to-stand reforestation strategy.

Gloria DabekGloria DabekManaging Policy Advisor

Carbon180’s Farm Bill platform

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