FREEPORT — As part of a  $10 million collaboration, Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture and the Environment is attempting a “farming revolution” to combat carbon emissions and the effects of climate change, according to the Freeport nonprofit’s executive director, David Herring.

It will provide “any farmer anywhere with free access to site-specific data, providing quantitative feedback on millions of acres of farmland by 2024.” he said.

These data allow farmers to make informed decisions about land-use management. Working with Stonyfield Organic, the USDA’s LandPKS project and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture, Wolfe’s Neck announced the launch of the Open Technology Ecosystem for Agriculture Management (OpenTEAM), a “farmer-driven, interoperable platform to provide farmers around the world with the best possible knowledge to improve soil health,” officials said in a news release.

“In order to solve climate change there has to be an ‘all of the above’ strategy which includes reducing carbon emissions” with solar energy and other sustainable practices that do not require the use of fossil fuels,” Herring said.

Nearly 40% of the earth’s land surface is used for various facets of agriculture, and according to Stonyfield Organic, agriculture is responsible for as much as 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.  In recent years, to more efficiently manage that land, farming practices have begun to move away from building soil health, Herring said.

Plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in the soil. Because of this, practices like tilling soil, for example, release a huge amount of carbon into the atmosphere, he said, and depletes the overall soil health. Healthy soil grows healthy crops. Healthy crops help make healthy humans.

 


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