Digital Dirt: Technology and Practice Diffusion Amongst Regional Farmers
While the scientific community has reached consensus that one of the biggest opportunities to combat climate change lies dormant under our feet in the form of farm soils, many hurdles remain to capture this opportunity for global climate change mitigation. Among these hurdles is developing trusted measurement and verification methods for soil organic carbon (SOC) that are necessary for standing up a robust market for regenerative farming.
Pecan Street’s Digital Dirt project has developed a roadmap for SOC measurement and verification R&D to close data gaps more quickly and cost-effectively than waiting for the development and adoption of affordable, in-situ SOC sensors. In short, models currently constrained by insufficient datasets can be fed AI generated synthetic data, based on existing measurements and verified against real-world data, to transform their market utility. Developing open, benchmark datasets and model outputs will accelerate development of reliable, low-cost tools for estimation of soil carbon sequestration that can be deployed equitably across a wider array of farms. The result is a powerful climate solution that is good for our food and fiber production systems and our rural economy.
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