Cultivating Farms to Soak Up a Greenhouse Gas
By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 23, 1998; Page A03
KUTZTOWN, Pa.Not all dirt is created equal, even here in Pennsylvania's
famously fertile Dutch Country. Some soils are merely good, while others
are flat-out miraculous, such as the remarkably talented black loam at the
Rodale Institute experimental farm.
This research center boasts a eight-acre plot of
super-soil that not only grows the finest corn and soybeans but sucks
pollution out of the air like a giant siphon. In a reverse of the
"greenhouse effect," it drinks in carbon dioxide from cars and factories
and stores it below the surface as carbon, the building material for
The secret lies not in soil but in farming techniques,
and the possibilities it raises are huge. Rodale scientists say a few simple
practices, applied across the U.S. Corn Belt, could transform farms into
carbon-dioxide sponges that sop up millions of metric tons a year of
the chief greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.
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