AGCO launches studies on cover crops for carbon management

04-02 | |
Photo: AGCO
Photo: AGCO

AGCO is conducting agronomic research trials and field demonstrations in 2021 to help farmers successfully add soil carbon sequestration to their farming operations.

The rapidly evolving carbon credit market is a potential revenue channel for farmers in which they can also contribute to the solution for climate change alongside feeding the world’s growing population.

Revenue potential for farmers

“Carbon sequestration’s revenue potential for farmers through carbon credits incentivizes adoption, investment, and innovation for the betterment of our climate,” said Louisa Parker-Smith, AGCO’s Global Sustainability Director.

“With half of the earth’s vegetated land employed in agriculture and abundant soil carbon sequestration potential, it’s understandable that the Ag supply potential is over 30 times today’s total credit demand. However, we expect to see carbon-offset credit demand increase exponentially as surrounding markets mature and companies such as Apple and BP work towards self-imposed climate neutrality deadlines.”

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Louisa Parker-Smith, AGCO’s Global Sustainability Director: “Our goal is to make regenerative agriculture attainable for farmers. As part of our new strategy, we’re conducting these research trials to inform the development of new products to support soil health and carbon management." - Photo: AGCO

Louisa Parker-Smith, AGCO’s Global Sustainability Director: “Our goal is to make regenerative agriculture attainable for farmers. As part of our new strategy, we’re conducting these research trials to inform the development of new products to support soil health and carbon management.” – Photo: AGCO

Cover cropping

“We are undertaking this research to help create a clear path for farmers to successfully harness the revenue potential and climate benefits of biologic carbon sequestration through cover cropping and other regenerative agriculture practices,” said Darren Goebel, AGCO’s Global Agronomy and Farm Solutions Director. “We are confident that these trials will demonstrate easy and cost-effective ways to add these practices into existing crop systems.”

Best practices for cover crop planting

AGCO’s Global Agronomy team is collaborating with the company’s global brands to drive research trials at the Martin Richenhagen Future Farm in Zambia, Africa, and the Swiss Future Farm in Tänikon, Switzerland, as well as several sites in the U.S. and Denmark. The studies focus on best practices for cover crop planting timing (before, during or after harvest), termination methods, species selection and tillage systems to maximize carbon stores.

In the video below, AGCO Agronomist Jens Christian Jensen visits with Steffen Decker, a fourth-generation farmer at Stydinggaard near Styding, Denmark, to learn about his experience with cover cropping over the last 10 years.

Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming