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Climate change can boost crop production  —  but only if we protect our soils

Blog Post by Professor Bruno Basso, Scientific Co-Founder and Dale Sorensen, VP Agronomy at CiBO Technologies

New research shows that soil quality and health can mitigate yield losses caused by rising temperatures.

Our climate is getting hotter, and most crop models forecast lower yields as a result. But what if this doesn’t have to be the case?

The answers we need to solve both food security and climate change can be found right beneath our feet.

Soil is at the center of our planet’s food production system. By caring for this precious resource, we can mitigate the negative impact of climate change and secure our food supply.

recent study published by CiBO’s Scientific Co-Founder Bruno Basso showed that improving soil management to boost organic carbon levels in soils compensates for the yield losses caused by rising temperatures. What’s more, crop yields actually increase with additional soil organic carbon. This is because soil organic carbon allows more water to infiltrate and be held in the soil aggregates that plants use to grow.

This breakthrough finding was part of the Agricultural Model Intercomparing and Improvement Project, or AgMIP, a global initiative linking climate, crop and economic modeling communities. It is the first research of its kind that provides critical insights into the important role soil plays in managing the risks associated with climate change.

“Until now, research hasn’t accounted for what soil gives back to the cycle of climate change,” Professor Basso states. “It’s arguably the most important resource we have. If we want to solve for food security in the context of rising temperatures and changing weather patterns, we have to start with where it all begins — with our soils.”

 

Dale Sorensen, CiBO’s VP of Agronomy, is a passionate advocate for the role that agronomic management practices play in protecting soils and increasing their organic carbon levels. He encourages growers to adopt techniques such as cover crops, conservation tillage, and using advanced genetics.

CiBO’s unique crop model can simulate soil’s reaction to changes in temperature and carbon levels, offering insight to help us make sure our agricultural systems are not only resilient to the effects of climate change but also play a key role in mitigating its effects.

CiBO Technologies

CiBO Technologies