A Maine Soil Health Initiative to Enhance Agricultural Sustainability and Mitigate Climate Change

Researchers at UMaine are collaborating with stakeholder partners to conduct a benchmark study analyzing and quantifying the role of soil health-building practices in climate mitigation. Our team recently received a seed grant from the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions to begin this work. The project addresses the need for systematic ways to evaluate and prioritize agricultural practices that contribute to mitigation by sequestering carbon and reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions. Simultaneously, we will identify co-benefits of soil health-building practices, such as improving water quality and supporting habitat for wildlife and beneficial insects. Ultimately, we hope to identify efficient and cost-effective solutions that improve soil health, support ecosystem services, and enhance climate mitigation and adaptation in the agriculture sector of Maine. This project could serve as a blueprint for a larger regional scale analysis, and inform policy aimed at meeting state and regional mitigation goals.

Researchers: Drs. Adam Daigneault, Ivan Fernandez, Cindy Isenhouer, Sonja Birthisel

Stakeholder Partners: American Farmland Trust, Maine Farmland Trust, Maine Climate Table