LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Farmers are often the first to feel the impact of severe weather and climate change but many are starting to fight back from the ground up.
“Our springs are colder and wetter. Summers are hotter and drier, I mean, it’s something that affects my livelihood and affects the future of my farm,” says Trey Hill of Harborview Farms in Rock Hall, Maryland.READ MORE: Grieving Family Looking For Killer Of 22-Year-Old Alejandro Legaria Rangel In Huntington Park
The fourth generation farmer started adopting “climate smart” farming techniques 20 years ago. As part of a push to help preserve the Chesapeake Bay and prevent runoff from local farms, he began experimenting with what’s known as cover crops.
Hill now plants a layer of cover crops — such as rapeseed, cereal rye and crimson clover — after harvesting his commercial crop to keep the soil nourished during the off-season. He also avoids tilling or plowing to keep the dirt intact.
Ray Weil, a professor of soil science at the University of Maryland, says the farm’s soil is actually capturing greenhouse pollution.
“Lots and lots of carbon that was carbon dioxide in the air is no longer in the air. It’s now in the soil. And it’s going to stay here, especially if we don’t turn it up mechanically, which tends to burn it up,” he tells CBS News.
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Read about our approach to #climatesmartfarming “Our springs are colder and wetter. Summers are hotter and drier. I mean, it's something that affects my livelihood and affects the future of my farm,” said Hill. Full article here: https://t.co/g6huFwXqg6 @CBSNews #climatechange
— Harborview Farms (@HarborviewFarms) April 22, 2021
Hill is also one of several farmers nationwide working with Seattle-based start-up Nori, which sells carbon credits to individuals and businesses to offset their carbon emissions.
“You have to sequester the carbon prior to marketing your credits. We sequester roughly one ton of carbon per acre per year,” Hill explains.
He then sells his carbon credits on a marketplace where businesses or individuals can support the cause.
“I get to pick my price. It’s essentially an auction block,” explained Trey.
Robert Bonnie, a senior advisor on climate change at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), says the agency is working on developing new tool, maybe even a carbon bank, to help the movement grow.
“It could be that agriculture and forestry could account for as much as twenty, twenty five percent of our response to climate change,” he says.
Ultimately, the goal is to pave the way for a new and growing field.MORE NEWS: Man Struck Multiple Times In Daylight Shooting In Riverside
“I think the opportunities are endless,” Hill says.