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Combating Climate Change Through Soil Science

Lynn Betts
Wikimedia Commons
Much of Iowa's soil is eroded due to certain farming practices

Iowa is nestled in the center of America’s breadbasket; one of our most precious resources is beneath our feet. But it’s a resource in jeopardy.

Kristin Ohlson, author of “The Soil Will Save Us,” says farming practices are largely to blame for the lack of carbon; that’s a major issue for our environment and for our crops.

“When plowing comes and opens up the soil and exposes soil to oxygen that carbon that’s held in the soil will volatize and blow away. Agriculture that plants and plows without giving anything back to those soil microorganism does deplete the soil of carbon.”

She says it’s up to farmers like Paul Ackley to make a difference; he’s turned to solutions like no-till farming. “It really is the best way to do it, you don’t need [a plow] anymore. Your mind just has to adapt. It reduced erosion, cut fuel use and gave us more time to spend with the livestock.”

Host Charity Nebbe talks with Ackley and Ohlson about erosion, soil health and what we can do to protect our most valuable resource this hour of Talk of Iowa.

Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa