Rather than just looking to cut carbon emissions, California is looking for different ways to absorb more CO2 once it’s been released. One thing the state has been looking into is healthier soil that would help plants absorb more carbon dioxide from the air.

More on the Healthy Soils Initiative:

The Central Valley’s farmlands essentially operate as a vast lung, breathing in carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and converting it into plant tissues. That results in less of the heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere.

But the healthier the soil, the more carbon is stored in plants.

Enter California’s Healthy Soils Initiative, a statewide program rolling out this summer that is the first of its kind in the country. … California’s initiative will give grants to farmers who take steps to reverse that nutrient loss. Those could include adding compost on rangelands or seeding fields between harvests with so-called cover crops such as grasses and mustards, which add organic matter to the soil.

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