This open source farming technology aims to combat climate change via soil health – Good Algorithms


– Agriculture has a big impact
on climate change worldwide. It accounts for about 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. There’s also a lot of emissions
from livestock production. So cows especially produce
methane in their stomachs, and that’s a potent greenhouse gas. The good news, though, is that agriculture also has the potential to become a part of the
solution for climate change. There’s a number of different
ways in which agriculture contributes to climate change. The biggest is through
emissions from soil. So those are nitrous oxide emissions that come from the
application of fertilizers. In conventional agriculture,
nitrogen fertilizer is made using natural gas. So it has a big fossil
fuel footprint behind it just to create that fertilizer, and then there are additionally
emissions from the soil once it’s applied. OpenTEAM is a collaborative effort to harness the technology
that’s being developed that helps farmers monitor, measure, or model greenhouse gas emissions and soil health on their farm and bring these technologies together in a way that farmers can
efficiently access the technology and use the technology
to provide site specific decision support on their operation about their opportunities
for improving soil health. Most farmers will start using OpenTEAM through a record keeping tool, And these tools are designed
as two different entry points to the platform. LandPKS is a pretty basic app that you can use anywhere in the world to assess your soil
health and your soil type and access some basic information about the soils that you’re working with, farmOS is a more robust
record keeping tool that can track all of the activities that are happening on the farm, whether that’s cropping
patterns, livestock movement, personnel, equipment. So there’s two different ways that a farmer can start
using the OpenTEAM platform through one of those record keeping tools. And from there, they
can then move their data through a variety of different tools. We can pull in information
from a tool like Quick Carbon, which is a camera that you can
use to do spectral analysis of the carbon levels in your soil. And by taking pictures
of your soil over time, you can accurately measure
change in the level of carbon that is being stored in your soil. We can pull in data from satellites, so we can use remote sensing imagery which tells us about things
like vegetative cover and the health of that vegetation and the moisture content
of that vegetation. And we can start to infer a lot of things about the health of
soil from those images. And then we can move all of that data through tools like COMET-Farm or DNDC or the Cool Farm Tool. And from there, all of this information can be moved into decision support tools, and this is where it
becomes useful to the farmer because we can pull in tools like a Cover Crop decision support tool, which can provide a farmer
with site specific information about the kinds of cover
crops they should be planting, how they should be planting them, and when they should be planting them to maximize the benefits
from using those cover crops. There are already many elements to the way our farmers are farming, that are beneficial from
a climate change perspective. For instance,
Wolf’s Neck Center for Agriculture & the Environment, where OpenTEAM is based, is going to be one of the hub farms, and they’ve been doing a lot of work
over the years to take a look at how they can improve soil health by doing things like changing
their grazing practices and increasing the intensity of their rotational grazing so that they can build carbon in their pastures. The next revolution in agriculture is going to be a
knowledge-based revolution. Improving soil health is really
about putting information into the hands of farmers so they can identify the practices, the changes in cropping system,
that they might need to make in order to improve their
soil health over time, helping farmers move from
an input-based paradigm to a knowledge-based paradigm.

7 thoughts on “This open source farming technology aims to combat climate change via soil health – Good Algorithms

  1. If we started gigantic hemp farms across the US than across the world. The hemp plant (for its size) is one of the most efficient plants for converting Co2 to oxygen, the ground in which the plants are grown is actually more nourished afterwards and all the hemp we would have post harvest can be used for domesticity produced clothing, paper etc. Even hemp being used in place of glass in fiberglass for a stronger product. Plus all the local jobs this would produce from planting trough raising into harvesting, processing, logistics, manufacturing, logistics of finished products.

  2. Farming and agriculture in general are believed to be part of the issue and ideas like those presented in this video are welcomed. Everyone watching this video however knows there is great controversy with regards to climate change, especially the reasons for it (including farming), if anything can be done to reverse it, and if so at what cost. While each of us is entitled to our own opinion on this subject I am convinced that no one is likely to change the position of another person simply by preaching their gospel at them or by beating the other person over the head.

    So this brings us to what we each can do to talk about climate change in a responsible and respectful manner. IMHO I think that regardless of one's position on the climate controversy it is worthwhile for everyone to examine how climate change (no matter what the cause, manmade or otherwise) is and will be impacting our lives. This is less controversial than the causes of climate change itself. These changes include the effect of ice melting at the poles, movement of coastal landscapes, more frequent and more violent storms due to warming of ocean temperatures, extended periods of drought and more extensive flooding, and many other measurable impacts.

    As always, education is the key to understanding this subject and being able to talk about this intelligently. Learning through reading of the subject, even reading fiction (some would claim climate change is fiction), can lower the temperature and make others more open to discussion of what is actually factual and measurable and what is just conjecture . Of course there are many articles and books on the environmental impact of climate change, both science and science fiction based, so we should all read. If reading fiction is your escape then may I suggest "Seeds of Our Future" on Amazon and others like it.

    No matter how we become educated however if we want meaningful discussion of the subject we should start by addressing the effects of climate change even if we cannot convince others of the causes or about solutions to stem or reverse the changes.

  3. 3-4 decades too late like all this hopey bullshit. Don't listen to me – Dr. Peter Carter, IPCC expert reviewer interviewed at COP25 — https://youtu.be/oa13KrOvE2s

  4. Haha, this company won't be in buisness for long.
    Farmers are not gonna pay for carbon tracking, which is essentially voodoo anyway using alot of math (guessing).
    Farmers don't need help realizing if their soil is fertile, otherwise they wouldn't be farming very long.

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