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LANSING, MI. – The Corn Marketing Program of Michigan today announced that carbon is one of the focus areas for the organization’s research program. In 2021, CMPM is funding two separate research projects investigating sustainable agriculture practices and how to measure potential changes in carbon on the farm.

“Carbon sequestration and sustainable agriculture are hot topics right now, but there is a gap in the knowledge available to farmers to help drive decision making,” said Kristin Poley, research manager for CMPM. “Our goal is to make sure farmers have access to good data that they can trust when it comes to carbon sequestration. Ultimately, we hope to explore ways farmers can be incentivized for using practices that sequester more carbon.”

The first of CMPM carbon-focused research projects is “From Prescription Maps to Carbon Credits: A New Opportunity for MI Corn Growers” by Dr. Bruno Basso from Michigan State University. This project aims to measure the effects of conservation efforts like reduced tillage and cover crops on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a unique approach that uses digital agriculture, prescription mapping, and satellite imagery to measure the impact of conservation practices.

The second project is “Effects of Cover Cropping Systems and Tillage Practices on Carbon Retention” by Mid-Michigan Agronomy. This project is exploring the best methods and tests for measuring carbon in the soil and how various conservation practices affect the amount of carbon stored. This will be valuable information for farmers because so many different organizations are working to understand carbon sequestration, but each is using a different model or method that often isn’t transparent to farmers. This study will help determine a baseline of carbon in soil under certain conditions that we can build on in future years to see how it changes.

CMPM’s overall research program includes projects that increase the profitability of Michigan corn production, increase market opportunities or improve the environmental footprint of corn production. The program focuses on value-added projects; new product development; efficiency gains in current markets; enhancement of current, traditional markets; business or marketing plans; and information to inform approaches to production problems or global issues.

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