Shaky ground

A hand holds a small pile of fine, dry soil

photo by Robert Wernerehl.

Shaky ground

A company called Indigo is paying farmers to trap carbon in their soils. Some researchers say the climate benefits are dubious

Lance Unger has been doing things a little differently lately on his farm near the Wabash River in southwestern Indiana. After last fall’s harvest, rather than leaving his fields fallow, he sowed some of them with cover crops of oats and sorghum that grew until the winter cold killed them off. And before planting corn and soybeans this spring, Unger drove a machine to shove aside yellowing stalks—last season’s “trash,” as he calls it—rather than tilling the soil and plowing the stalks under.

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