Trent University student, Elora Tarlo grew up in the area of beautiful Blue Mountains, Ontario.
Frightened by climate change as a young girl, she was committed to pursuing innovative technology to tackle environmental issues through her studies. She decided to focus on ways to help make farming practices more sustainable.
At present, many traditional farming practices use synthetic fertilizers – which end up degrading soil health and emitting more and more carbon into our atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
But what if there was a way to improve crop yield while reducing atmospheric carbon emissions?
Elora dedicated her research to finding out.
She discovered a process known as CARBON SEQUESTRATION – which can help reverse emissions released into the atmosphere by CAPTURING and STORING carbon in ways that are not harmful to our planet – and thankfully SOIL can hold A LOT of carbon!
Elora wanted to “dig” further to discover just how much carbon could be stored on farmland.
By utilizing a mapping software called Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Elora was able to take an in-depth dive into geospatial and soil sensing analyses in agricultural areas.
Elora’s research compared 2 different methods to predict carbon storing capacities for farming fields. One method uses a drone that got proximal aerial imagery. The other uses only the soil samples locations and their relational distance among each other.
She used a combination of methods and complex calculations, such as Normalized Difference Vegetation. By inputting different methods and testing various approaches, she was able to find new ways to help farmers predict the amount of carbon on their farm – and which pockets of their soil can better sequester carbon and where they are located.
Her new knowledge helped promote sustainable farming practices such as :
- No tilling
- Rotational grazing
- Using farm fertilizers to minimize off farm inputs
This information can help empower farmers to target areas on their farm where more carbon could be sequestered in the soil.
Finding out how much carbon can be stored in soil is very important –because carbon can be converted into soil organic matter, helping improve retention of nutrients and water and reducing soil run-off into our local water systems.
Farmers can use this new technology in agriculture to sequester carbon, improve soil health, improve crop yield and improve food security– while helping remove harmful emissions from the atmosphere! A win-win for the planet!
Although conventional agricultural practices tend to degrade soil health and emit carbon into our atmosphere –– there is another way.
Elora explains just how important it is to measure carbon within our soils before moving ahead with carbon farming – and deploying the right formulas to help track, measure and quantify soil composition correctly.
Thank you Elora for your innovative research and for completing this complex measures to help improve agricultural practices.
Here is what Elora has to say about her Trent University experience:
“I love Trent University!!! I grew up in a rural small town so Peterborough was the perfect transition, with Trent University being surrounded by forest and nature areas. I just had my convocation and many of my professors came. It was amazing because I got to have conversations with them in person over the past 4 years, and they gave me advice I will never forget and cherish for the rest of my life. I went to Trent University knowing I wanted to help the environment, but not knowing or having the tools to. I was introduced to many different perceptions of the environment and respecting it. I’m happy to leave knowing I now feel like I have some tools (like GIS) to help the current climate crisis, and possibly help mend the relationship among people and our environment. “