Researchers Explore Rock Dust as Carbon Sequestration Aid for Farmland

A research team led by Cornell University is testing the potential for biochar, manure, and rock dust amendments to farmland to sequester carbon and boost crop yields, reports Yale Environment 360. Basalt rock pulverized into dust has been the most successful soil amendment tested during trials in New York and California. Adding rock dust to agricultural soils creates chemical reactions with the magnesium, calcium, and silica in the rock that help the soil lock up carbon long-term. Trial plots in California showed doubling of carbon update on treated lands. In addition, the nutrients in the rock dust helped corn and alfalfa trials yield 30% more.