Date of Submission
Environmental and Urban Studies
Project Advisor 1
Project Advisor 2
The global carbon pool located in soils is being depleted with time, partially contributing to anthropogenic climate change by means of land use changes and management of soils for food production. Farmer adoption of conservation practices geared towards soil carbon sequestration is an opportunity to reverse this depletion of the soil organic carbon pool. In this project, I investigated farmer perceptions of certain management strategies that have been shown to sequester soil carbon and improve soil health. By interviewing two prominent farmers in Columbia County, I assess options for improving their farms soil health and soil carbon, in addition to assessing the current state of soil carbon in a specific field. I investigated the various constraints to adopting new management and through the use of the COMET Farm modeling tool, quantified the differences in soil carbon currently in their soils, and the differences future changes in management would make if adopted. The results compare conventional and organic/biodynamic management/ It was surprising to see more carbon sequestration in the conventional system compared to the organic, based on the assumption that organic agriculture is less environmentally harmful. I used the framework of farmer participatory research to create a beneficial collaboration between myself, the researcher, and the farm managers, taking this opportunity to learn from their experiences and perceptions, as well as generate knowledge and a report for them to take away as well.
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Allen, Gemma G., "Multiple Perceptions of Soil Health: A Transdisciplinary Collaborative Study of two Contrasting Grain Farms in Columbia County, NY" (2020). Senior Projects Spring 2020. 173.
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