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‘New plants for carbon farming’: Can breeders actually do it?

As agriculture looks to better farming practices to sequester more carbon, breeders look to make new crops to help, writes SeedWorld’s Joe Funk in this article. “Carbon sequestration”, he says, “it’s a buzzword that’s slowly trickling down into agriculture practices. But how could breeding for carbon farming actually help the industry?”

Funk goes on to say that the extent to which agricultural crops and farming practices will be called upon to play a role in affecting Earth’s future climate changes hinges on the extent to which atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is involved in effecting changes in the Earth’s climate. Carbon sequestration, carbon farming and land management practices provide various agricultural methods aimed at sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil.

Carbon farming includes a variety of agricultural methods aimed at sequestering atmospheric carbon into the soil. These farming practices can increase total carbon content, improve soil water-retention capacity and reduce fertilizer use in addition to improving plant growth.

Funk points out that science-based solutions rely on applying biotechnology sequence complex genomes to gain the information needed to open the door for understanding and modifying the genetic basis of plant adaptation.

“This information is helping researchers develop plants that can survive in harsh environments and grow more food, fiber and fuel for a burgeoning population, as well as to potentially mitigate the negative effects of climate change.”

Source: SeedWorld. Read the full article here
Photo: Variety trial field day held in September 2016 at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Charlottetown Research Station – Harrington Research Farm. Courtesy Mary Kay Sonier, P.E.I. Potato Board via CountryGuide.

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