What is Carbon Farming?

Carbon farming is a set of agricultural practices that can help mitigate climate change, increase food security, and improve farmer profitability. The scientific community has been paying more attention to these methods than ever before. Governments and NGOs provide farmers with financial support for transitioning their operations to carbon farming operations.

How does Carbon Farming work?

In a nutshell, carbon farming is about restoring soil health and returning carbon to the soil.

The term came into common use in the 1990s as a way to describe agricultural practices that increase the amount of organic matter in the soil while reducing or removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. 

Carbon farming is all about increasing your farm’s ability to hold onto water, which means you can grow more food with less water—and do it right where you live!

Carbon farming techniques include:

  • Composting —turning kitchen scraps into something useful on your farm
  • Cover crops —crops planted between seasons or after harvest to prevent erosion and improve soil quality

Carbon Farming Techniques

Carbon farming practices can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve soil health, food security, and farmer profitability. This means you have to use the appropriate agricultural mechanization.

It is defined as “a set of management practices that enhance the carbon sequestration capacity or resilience of terrestrial ecosystems”. Carbon farming works to restore soils, increase biodiversity and improve water quality.

 Methods include:

  • Planting trees on farms or in close proximity to crops.
  • Improving grazing management.
  • Encouraging farmers to plant cover crops between seasons.
  • Restoring damaged ecosystems such as wetlands or riparian areas (the land near rivers).
  • Using biogas from livestock manure as fuel instead of fossil fuels.
  • Converting rice paddies previously flooded back into dry land for increased crop yields without flooding fields with water from reservoirs (this practice can also increase production).

Carbon Farming Will Increase Food Security

Carbon farming is a set of practices that can increase soil fertility, crop yields, and food security. Carbon farming techniques improve the health and fertility of soils by returning organic matter to the soil, which in turn helps plants absorb more water and nutrients. 

Planting diverse crops throughout a field or farm helps prevent pests from becoming dominant and increases crop yields by using natural pest control methods such as companion planting.

The practice of carbon farming also helps farmers adapt to climate change while reducing their reliance on pesticides and fertilizers by improving plant health through increased nutrient uptake.

Carbon Farming Techniques can Improve Farmer Profitability

Carbon farming can help farmers increase crop yields, reduce fertilizer and pesticide use, reduce the need for irrigation, and help reduce water treatment costs. 

Farmers who adopt carbon farming practices will see increased profits from higher yields and reduced fertilizer, pesticides, and water treatment costs.

The Scientific Community is Paying More Attention 

Carbon farming has been around for a long time, but it’s only recently that the scientific community has started paying more attention to these methods. Carbon farming is a term used by scientists and farmers over the years so you may have heard the term before. 

There are already Farmers Practicing Carbon Farming 

Carbon farming is a growing practice among farmers across the country, but it’s not just for organic farmers. There are over 300 farmers practicing carbon farming in the United States, and they’re not just interested in reducing their impact on climate change—they’re also looking to increase their yields and reduce their costs. 

Carbon farming can help improve soil health, increase crop yields, reduce fertilizer use, prevent topsoil erosion, and even reduce the need for tillage practices like plowing.

You don’t have to be an organic farmer to practice carbon farming; if you’re farming conventionally or organically (or somewhere in between), there are ways that you can incorporate some of these methods into your operation without changing what kind of crops you grow or how large your farm is.

Governments and NGOs are Providing Financial Support

Governments and NGOs provide farmers with financial support for transitioning their operations to carbon farming operations. In Malaysia, the government is offering an incentive of up to $2 per ton of carbon sequestered per year.

In addition, the UN’s Global Alliance for Climate-Smart Agriculture (GACSA) has pledged more than US$1 billion in cash and in-kind contributions from partners who aim to reduce emissions while increasing food security and economic resilience among smallholder farmers.


Carbon farming is about making farms more sustainable. It’s about helping farmers grow food and earn a living while sequestering carbon dioxide. We do this by helping farmers to plant trees, restore wetlands and grasslands, manage livestock manure, and other practices that promote carbon sequestration.

Author bio

Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.

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