Carbon Farming Coming to Santa Barbara

Author: Tanner Walker | Published: May 29, 2018

Carbon ranching is coming to Santa Barbara, but farmers aren’t growing carbon — they’re putting it back into the ground. With the help of compost and cattle, native grasses can sequester organic carbon, enriching the soil and removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

For example, a single acre of grazed grasslands in Santa Barbara can remove the equivalent of 3.9 tons of CO2 each year by using a compost application plan outlined by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

According to the Community Environmental Council of Santa Barbara, 270,000 acres in the county are suitable for compost application. Even if only 15 percent of the available land received a single dusting of compost, their analysis “shows that the increased sequestration could offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions from the county’s agricultural sector.”