Ask the Expert: How to make agriculture more sustainable

Ask the Expert: How to make agriculture more sustainable

July 19, 20212 min read

MSU’s Bruno Basso outlines key steps the grain industry can take — with public support — to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by more than 70% over the next decade

Michigan State University Foundation Professor Bruno Basso has long been a believer in the power of digital agriculture. For years, he’s worked to show how emerging digital tools and technologies — things like drones, robotics, satellite imagery and computer models of soil and plant growth — can help farmers promote sustainability without sacrificing profits. Now, in addition to belief, he also has concrete numbers.

Basso, an ecosystems scientist in the College of Natural Science and the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, has helped outline how America’s grain industry can shrink its carbon footprint by 71% by 2030.

The team — which included researchers at Duke University, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and Benson Hill, a sustainable food technology company — published its findings online on June 21 in the journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Basso, who recently won a $250,000 award for sustainability innovations, sat down with MSUToday to talk about how farmers can achieve those reductions and how the public can help.

The full article is attached and well worth the read.  Basso tackles tough questions such as:

  • How big is this problem? How much of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture?

  • Your new paper focuses on grains in particular. How big of an emitter is grain production, especially compared to other ag sectors such as livestock, which tends to get more attention?

  • You talked about getting a 23% reduction by better management of fertilizer. How do we get to a 70% reduction by 2030?

  • What are the obstacles that we need to overcome by 2030?

Are you a journalist looking to cover this topic - then let us help.

Bruno Basso is available to speak with media, simply click on his icon now to arrange an interview today.

Connect with:
  • Bruno Basso
    Bruno Basso Ecosystems Scientist

    Research deals mainly with water, carbon, nitrogen cycling & modeling in agro-ecosystems.

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