Behind the Scenes: Carbon Sequestration Research with Texas A&M AgriLife
Understanding Greenhouse Gases (GHG) and the Movement to Reduce Carbon Footprints
By Kelsey House
In order to develop Locus AG’s CarbonNOW™ movement, we have placed ourselves alongside third party researchers who are leaders in soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas (GHG) analyses. Locus AG started working with Dr. Katie Lewis from Texas A&M AgriLife, as she is well known in this field, and collaborated with her to better understand the ability of Rhizolizer® , our microbial soil amendment, to reduce GHG emissions from agricultural soils. Dr. Lewis and her lab collected data from multiple Florida Rhizolizer orange trials, including GHG fluxes and soil samples that analyzed total organic carbon and bulk density. Through these trials, the results demonstrated Rhizolizer was having a positive effect in sequestering carbon and reducing GHG emissions from FL citrus soils.
Since then, Locus AG has continued work with Dr. Lewis researching GHG and carbon sequestration, with additional studies in row crops, such as potatoes in the Texas High Plains. For this potato trial, we focused on replicated treatments of Rhizolizer against standard grower practices (untreated control). During our visit to the trial site in July, we focused on the gas fluxes in the soil. Ultimately, the goal of the measurements is for lower emissions in the Rhizolizer treated applications compared to the standard grower practices. Dr. Lewis’ lab collected this data multiple times throughout the potato season to better understand our ability to keep carbon in the soil as well as understanding our microbe life cycle depending on rates, applications, and other inputs. We look forward to our data results and hope we can continue to understand Rhizolizer’s capabilities to sequester carbon and reduce GHG emissions!
During the same week of the carbon sampling with Dr. Lewis’ lab, I was able to attend the TAMU Potato Breeding field day, which showcased multiple varieties and their work providing better potatoes for growers. Overall, my week in Texas was a great opportunity to learn more about potato breeding, consumer trends, the effects of microbial interaction of carbon. Thank you TAMU Potato Breeding and Texas A&M AgriLife Soil Fertility for having me.