With Better Soil, Farmers Can Fight Climate Change, Make Agriculture More Sustainable

Many of us are aware of the effects of climate change, but Prince Edward Island potato farmer Myles Rose has been watching them up close for years.

He’s seen how extreme weather events like drought have wreaked havoc with crops that have made P.E.I. famous, such as the Goldrush potato.

“It’s a small plant in structure and needs water weekly, and lots of times we’re not getting a rain weekly, so we can’t get a sustainable yield off of that crop,” Rose said from his farm in East Point, P.E.I.

“So we’re moving to varieties which are more drought-resistant.”

Climate change is forcing farmers to make adjustments to ensure their crops can withstand evolving weather conditions. At the same time, many aspects of agriculture — from tilling to raising livestock — contribute to increased levels of carbon in the atmosphere, which exacerbates global warming.

But there’s a movement afoot that not only could improve the business of farming but also help fields pull more carbon out of the atmosphere. It’s called regenerative farming, and it emphasizes taking steps to cultivate stronger, healthier soil.