Innovation in agricultural practices and technologies can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from production, according to a study involving researchers from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory grain up to 70% over the next 15 years. years.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the United States National Academy of Sciences, highlighted a combination of easily adaptable technological breakthroughs that can dramatically reduce GHG emissions and be adapted to established grain markets and existing production systems.
According to the article titled “New Emission Reduction Technologies Complement Conservation Agriculture to Achieve Negative Emissions from Row Crop Production,” GHG emission reductions could be achieved through crop genetics and from microbes, to digital agriculture and electrification.
The implementation of new technologies could lead to the decarbonization of agriculture and, at the same time, support the resilience of farms and maintain productivity and profitability.
The technologies are classified into three parts: optimize, replace and redesign. Researchers used GREET® Argonne National Laboratory model to reproduce the adoption of new technologies for the reduction of GHG emissions from cereal production.
Argonne designed GREET, which stands for Greenhouse gas, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies Model – a unique lifecycle analysis tool currently used worldwide by industry, government and the scientific community.
The study provides information to develop potential new methods of agricultural decarbonization and recommends entry points with private and public investments based on a schedule of expected return on investment in new technologies.
Our study highlights the importance of a two-pronged approach – reducing agricultural emissions and maximizing carbon storage in the soil – to tackle the climate crisis through agriculture. Practices that improve carbon storage in soil continue to gain momentum. Complementing this approach by developing and scaling up emission reduction technologies, including seed genetics, is essential to achieve negative net production.
Dan Northrup, Senior Study Author and Director of Special Projects, Benson Hill
Benson Hill is a St. Louis-based company that harnesses the natural genetic diversity of plants to develop more sustainable and healthy food choices.
Our holistic assessment of decarbonizing agriculture highlights technical areas and points of interest for U.S. agriculture to be a solution to the climate challenge.
Michael Wang, Study Co-Principal Investigator and Principal Scientist, Argonne Energy Systems Division
Wang also heads the Systems Assessment Center.
The research team included Philip Benfey of Duke University, HHMI and Hi Fidelity Genetics, a company commercializing a sensor-based root monitoring platform for crop plants; Bruno Basso of Michigan State University and CiBO Technologies – pioneers of a revolutionary technology platform that accelerates regenerative agriculture – and Cristine Morgan of Soil Health Institute, a nonprofit that protects and improves productivity and vitality of soils through research and development.
The study was funded by the DOE’s Office of Bioenergy Technologies within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and the DOE’s ARPA-E SMARTFARM program.
Northrup, D, L., et al. (2021) New emission reduction technologies complement conservation agriculture to achieve negative emissions from row crop production. Proceedings of the United States National Academy of Sciences. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2022666118.
Source : https://www.anl.gov/