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As its topsoil washes away, the Corn Belt is losing yields — and carbon

Scientists have found that around 35% of the region has lost its most fertile A-horizon soil, more commonly known as topsoil, since European colonization in the 1800s, resulting in estimated annual economic losses of around $2.8 billion and a 6% reduction in crop yields per year. Their findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In an article published by Mongabay, CIBO co-founder Bruno Basso shares how carbon markets are helping to incentivize farmers to bring the land back into balance is a carbon market for range and farmlands.

“It’s like the Zillow of the land. You basically click on a field, and you know how much it’s worth compared to your neighbor [on the carbon market],” Basso said. “That has given me a tremendous amount of satisfaction, seeing the research applied and allowing the farmers to understand the regenerative potential and potential of carbon sequestration on their farms.”

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