Since the prairies were first plowed, soil carbon stocks have decreased by 40% to 50%, says Catherine Stewart, a USDA-ARS research soil scientist.

Soil carbon is a component of soil organic matter, which consists of plant and soil animal materials in various stages of decomposition.

“If there’s one thing you can do for your soil, you should try to increase your soil carbon.” Be patient.

“We’re losing tons of soil due to erosion through tillage. No-till helps to make soil more resilient.” “Erosion is a huge problem in our region,” says Abbey Wick, North Dakota State University soil health specialist.

Especially if you deal with sandier soils, Wick encourages the use of cover crops to build soil structure and organic matter to reduce erosion.

ADDING SOIL CARBON An engineered biocarbon technology, used in Cool Terra and developed by Cool Planet, is one option for farmers looking to increase soil carbon.

“There are cover crops, crop rotation, and other ways to build soil organic matter and increase soil health. This is going to be another tool for rebuilding soil.” ALTERNATIVE SOIL The agriculture industry has been innovative, and solutions in other markets have become fruitful.