It all starts with the soil. Healthy soil enables renewable, sustainable, carbon raw materials. Around our plant in Luverne, Minnesota, soil carbon is increasing as farmers use sustainable farming practices.
The crops are growing, year after year. Thanks to low-till and no-till farming methods, such as strip-tilling, the carbon is being sequestered in the soil. The benefits to the farmer are substantial, as much of the stover remains in the fields, while some goes to feed livestock, which contribute manure to fertilize the fields. This makes for less synthetic fertilizer required to be bought and spread, which means the farmer has to invest less to have better yield.
Gevo has chosen to leverage this efficient and scalable biological system. There’s far too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere right now, and its concentration level is growing every day Each day humans dig up more carbon or pump it out of the ground. The carbon contained in fossil fuels was sequestered in the earth millions of years ago, and humans have been releasing it to the atmosphere as CO2 over the last 120 years. Why? Because it was a concentrated and easy-to-use energy form, and immensely profitable to do so in our society. Rather than adding more carbon to the atmosphere, Gevo puts existing carbon to good use, helping Earth’s natural systems to find their equilibrium.
We’d like to see a business system that links and rewards farmers for improving sustainability of growing crops and improving the land and ecosystems. What will it take? It takes a business system that values sustainability throughout the whole supply chain. Gevo has the potential to make the connections happen and accelerate sustainable development of and growth of growing raw materials to displace petro-based carbon.
We need to help the planet reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in ways that won’t harm other life on Earth. Our world currently is dependent on the energy derived from fossil fuels. Gevo is working to change that by harnessing CO2 in the atmosphere to produce fuels and storing carbon in the soil through sustainable agriculture. By using agriculture to create renewable energy, we see a pathway to use the carbon that is already in the atmosphere as a resource—reducing our reliance on the carbon that’s buried deep in the Earth and drawing down more CO2 by storing more carbon in soil.
Sustainable agriculture can address other environmental issues in addition to reducing CO2. Sustainable agriculture practices such as reducing tillage, growing cover crops, and nutrient management can build soil health for more resilient crops, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and improve water efficiency.
Learn how farmers switching to use sustainable agriculture is the key to unlocking energy and nutrition. They can see a demonstrated increase in yield as they reverse the flow of carbon. Read more in the white paper available below.