Ever heard of the terms “carbon trading” or “carbon inventories?” They are now routinely bandied about by governments seeking to balance economic development with reduced impacts on global climates. In the context of today’s report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which mentions agriculture as a key factor for mitigating climate change, this week CIMMYT hosted eight international experts as part of the workshop “New Technologies to Assess Soil Carbon Levels,” organized by wheat agronomist Ken Sayre and held at El Batán on Monday, 30 April 2007. After the workshop, participants spent the remainder of the week running tests on the station.
“CIMMYT’s long-term trials on conservation agriculture, which feature a range of practices and residue levels, provide a valuable platform for testing our instruments and methods for measuring soil carbon,” says Charles Rice, Professor of Soil Microbiology at Kansas State University, USA, and US National Director of the Consortium for Agricultural Soil Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases.
Also participating were César Izaurralde, leader of the USAID project on advanced soil carbon technologies, and Jorge Etchevers, Professor of Soil Fertility at the Colegio de Postgraduados, Mexico, who with former CIMMYT wheat director Tony Fischer helped launch the long-term conservation agriculture trial at El Batán.