HomeEnvironmentHow much carbon can farmers store in their soil? Nobody's sure.

    How much carbon can farmers store in their soil? Nobody’s sure.

    Dirt, it turns out, isn’t just worm poop. It’s also a humongous receptacle of carbon, some 2.5 trillion tons of it — three times more than all the carbon in the atmosphere.

    That’s why if you ask a climate wonk about the U.S. farm bill — the broad, trillion-dollar spending package Congress is supposed to pass this year (after failing to do so last year) — they’ll probably tell you something about the stuff beneath your feet. The bill to fund agricultural and food programs could put a dent in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, some environmental advocates say, if it does one thing in particular: Help farmers store carbon in their soil. 

    The problem is, no one really knows how much carbon farmers can store in their soil. 

    “There’s still a ton of research that’s needed,” said Cristel Zoebisch, who analyzes federal…

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