What is Carbon Farming?

All agricultural production originates from the process of plant photosynthesis, which uses sunshine to combine carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air with water and minerals from the soil to produce plant material, both above and below ground.

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Common agricultural practices, including driving a tractor, tilling the soil and grazing, result in the return of CO2 to the air.  As much as one third of the surplus CO2 in the atmosphere driving climate change today has come from land management practices that cause loss of carbon, as CO2, from our working lands.

On the other hand, carbon can be stored long-term (decades to centuries or more) in soils in a process called "soil carbon sequestration." Carbon Farming involves implementing practices that are known to improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and/or soil organic matter.  Carbon Farming is successful when carbon gains resulting from enhanced land management and/or conservation practices exceed carbon losses. 

Carbon Farming in Marin County

The Marin Carbon Project has helped write and implement the first Carbon Farm Plans on three Marin County ranches. In the next three years, 20 more Carbon Farm Plans will be written.