Carbon Sequestration into Soil via Enduring Glomalin?
Agronomy & Policies to Reduce Net GHG from Farms.

By: Grant Rigby April 25, 2024

Filamentous mycorrhizae fungi grow symbiotically into plant root cells, supplying phosphate, minerals etc and water to the plant, sourced via the mycorrhizae's long hyphae filaments. In exchange the plant supplies energy and carbon via sucrose and lipids. Mycorrhizae are thought to produce "glomalin-related-soil-proteins" as a coating envelope protecting the long hyphae from bacteria attack. Glomalin proteins are insoluble and seemingly resistant to bacterial enzymes, and thus endure in soil after death of the mycorrhizae, as accumulating sequestered carbon.

Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Soil Fertility: Contribution in the Improvement of Physical, Chemical, and Biological Properties of the Soil

Key point is that enduring glomalin proteins appear to be the product of biological synthesis, using photosynthesized sucrose provided by living plant roots directly into living symbiotic mycorrhizae fungi, and not derived from dead plant residue.

Some recent glomalin science references (from, search "glomalin"):

An Agriculture Canada experiment at ten sites, placed carbon-isotope-labeled barley litter on the soil surface, or incorporated to 10cm depth, and monitored its decomposition over ten years: "Loss of C via decomposition occurred quickly - more than half was lost within 1 year and only about 5-12% remained at the end of the experiment…. Comparison of litter application treatments showed that no-till slowed decay of plant litter, but only for a short time (~1 yr)…. If only 10% of added plant litter C remains in soil beyond a few years, regardless of climate, residue placement, or soil type, then rates of soil gain are limited without substantive increases in residue inputs."

Farmers ended burning and summer fallow, and have been annually adding dead crop residues to soils for a half century now, yet their soils have not regained the coal blackness I remember blowing onto snow in the ditches during the 1960's.

My guess is much of that original carbon in native prairie soil might have been of enduring glomalins from mycorrhizae, plus biochar from the base of plant stalks where insufficient oxygen for combustion during prairie fires, plus carbon residues from dead microorganisms sorbed onto clays? Soil microbiologists could sleuth that 12000 year story much better than I.

I therefore think we farmers shall fail to adequately sequester enough carbon in soils to help halt excess climate warming, unless we focus on enduring microbial-resistant glomalin production.

Glyphosate and Tillage Harm Mycorrhizae

The following science paper was referenced in a 2023 Agriculture Canada and U.Alberta authored paper who stated "Glyphosate application also impacts mycorrhizal symbiosis… Glyphosate is degraded by soil organisms, however, it can accumulate in northern soils where cold and freezing conditions slow degradation." (

- Tillage, Glyphosate and Beneficial Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi: Optimising Crop Management for Plant–Fungal Symbiosis, 2020
"The results suggest that conventional tillage (plowed to 20cm in UK) has a greater negative impact on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal growth than zero tillage and glyphosate, but that glyphosate is also detrimental to arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal growth and hinders subsequent population recovery."

Does glyphosate application therefore limit the maximum carbon sequestration possible?

To maximize enduring carbon sequestration in soil, should grain farmers therefore:

Tilled Organic Farms:
- use only slower cloggy tillage with minimal pulverization, and only when also sowing a mycorrhizae associating grain crop or cover crop that can synthesize more enduring glomalin?

No-Till Chemical Farms:
- limit glyphosate use via wick application onto only the leaves of perennial weeds, or
- limit glyphosate use via using optical sensors to spot spray only perennial weeds such as quackgrass, thistle and dandelion; or
- limit glyphosate use to only one full cover spray in fall onto weeds growing through straw mulch every three or more years to halt infestations, or
- limit glyphosate use to only one full spray onto a glyphosate tolerant crop every three years, but because it may be translocated into and kill its associated mycorrhizae then a companion crop that is mycorrhizae associating be subsequently sown, or
- no glyphosate use and instead use other more selective herbicides, but only if research finds these to be less harmful to mycorrhizae and its carbon sequestration into enduring glomalin?

This discovery that glyphosate is detrimental to mycorrhizae possibly explains why grass sod that has been killed with glyphosate fractures so easily upon tillage – not only are the grass roots killed, but the mycorrhizae hyphae holding soil together is also killed and disintegrated, possibly by the same mechanism of being made vulnerable to pathogen attack? It also possibly explains a surprising report I heard from an Iowa farmer that the soils were experiencing water erosion despite being in no-till glyphosate sprayed corn and soybeans … possibly because the crop-associated mycorrhizae receives glyphosate translocated like sucrose and lipids into it and is thus poisoned with each spray event?

Greenwashing? of Net Greenhouse Gas Emitted from Grain Farms:

Canada's Sustainable Agriculture Strategy discussion document:

Sustainable Agriculture Strategy: Discussion Document

- Down in it is a map of Canada showing the Prairies to have accumulated carbon since 1990. In the reference #5 for the map, all that is stated is that it is a "Custom map created using data from Canada's National Inventory Report 2022", with no scientific authors having put their names to it, nor any explanation of carbon measurement technique (was it really from the identical sites back in 1990 before GPS recording?), nor of assumptions, such as if data was derived from soil samples taken for nutrient recommendations, then the new lowlands salinity patches created since 1990 that are now devoid of plants would not likely have been sampled and are thus ignored in the map?

- There are no yellow spots within the contiguous dark green area, despite likely being some large zones of tillage-fallow-using organic farms, and of highly tilled vegetable cropped areas, and of salinity flats likely large enough to have generated a yellow spot?

- Ag Canada's apparent conclusion that common "no-till" farming is achieving a net accumulation of relevant carbon in the soil, might I suspect have been based upon merely measuring the carbon in the top six inches of soil without considering what form it is in. I suspect soil samples were merely oven-heated to volatize hydrocarbons and measure the loss of mass to determine soil carbon, which includes the labile carbon in fast decomposing dead roots of annual plants as though it is an enduring storage for carbon. But most plant residue likely ultimately ends up being respired by rodents, insects, fungi and bacteria or chemically oxidized back into the atmosphere as CO2, methane and nitrous oxide. Adding fungicides on most farms has likely delayed respiration/decay of plant residue by fungi, yet all residue remains just temporary carbon storage vulnerable to near-term harrowing-induced respiration or oxidation and thus ought not to be counted as enduring "sequestered" stable carbon?

- Or worse, Agriculture Canada and/or Environment and Climate Change Canada's modelers, who are not likely soil microbiologists, might have simplistically assumed that if there is no cultivator tillage, then each crop grown will contribute a positive increase to soil organic matter, with no regard for the oxidation of soil carbon via aggressive surface harrowing down 1/2 inch into erosive dust, and no regard for the likelihood of all the dead plant residue being fully decayed and respired back into atmospheric CO2 as it possibly always has been? We don't know because their assumptions and calculations are not publicly reported?

- Or perhaps there have been few actual soil carbon measurements, and otherwise it is mostly biased conjecture having the goal of finding something good to report to the UN climate panel?

- One reported study, by Hangs, Schoenau, McConkey St Luce (2020): Soil carbon pools before and after 21 years of conservation management in Saskatchewan soils ( observed that after changing from traditional tillage to direct seeding management (no till), soil organic carbon in the top 10cm of soil from 90 Saskatchewan fields was found to be approx 25% greater in 2018 than in 1996, with most of the increase being in the form of microbial biomass. "Our results suggest that after 21 years of conservation management practices, more of the SOC is present in an active, dynamic fraction that contributes to soil health and nutrient cycling." The reported data indicates to me that about 4-8% of the SOC was found to be vulnerable to loss via respiration into CO2 during 6 weeks of incubation, and statistically greater in 2018 than 1996 for the brown and black soils, but at lower risk of loss for the gray soils. I suggest several unknowns remain, such as:

- But my main questions are whether the new carbon in non-saline uplands is highly resistant to degradation, or merely plant decay that is now delayed by several months compared with 1990 when most fields were promptly tilled every fall or spring, and whether any of the soil carbon improvement is protected in subsoil below possible future tillage, and whether the current practices can continue to accumulate more carbon in soil sufficiently to climb towards maximum enduring carbon sequestration, or will it plateau low as I have read a soil scientist acknowledge?

- Is the difference between the dark green improvement of total soil carbon on the Prairies, and the pale green yellow decline of total soil carbon elsewhere, merely due to the change on the Prairies from fall tillage incorporation of residues, to a fall harrow-only delay of residue decay regime, and not indicative of a significant change in enduring glomalin carbon? Might the introduction of fungicides on most grain fields have resulted in less glomalin synthesis via killing mycorrhizae in recent years, which is masked by the labile carbon accumulation due to obviously a simple time delay in the respiratory decay of unincorporated crop residue?

- Might a no-fall-till yet row-tilled corn /row-tilled soybean/ herbicided-wheat rotation, actually yield more enduring soil glomalin, than would a fungicided no-till canola /wheat rotation?

- Of concern would be that the delayed decay on the Prairies is also due to the preservative activity of fungicides, or of glyphosate tie-up of essential metals essential for growth of decay organisms, like applying a varnish on stubble every year, meaning we farmers would be compelled to continue applying such preservatives uninterrupted for many decades ahead?

- Modern chemical grain farming routinely controls fungal diseases via fungicide sprays that are translocated within the plant, including down the root along with sucrose likely out into mycorrhizae fungi which the fungicides likely also kill thus halting the synthesis of its enduring carbon-rich glomalin. Some herbicides may also have fungicidal activity, such as the root translocating and exudated glyphosate which is sprayed on growing canola, corn and soybean, and on most wheat and canola before harvest to poison deep rooted perennial weeds, yet is known to chelate (tie-up) several metal atoms that are essential for the construction of the enzymes of all life. I suspect glyphosate translocates into and along mycorrhizae filaments and is toxic to it, and perpetually deprives all life forms down in subsoil via chelating essential metal atoms, because the subsoil will remain absent of possibly evolving glyphosate-metabolizing bacteria living in topsoil?

- Given that annual crops only have living roots of moderate depth for a short portion of the summer, it thus seems unlikely there is enough time in the short period following the fungicidal seed treatments and prior to foliar fungicide application on typical chemical grain farms, for carbon sequestration in glomalin to be significant. Surplus nutrients added close to roots or foliar fed might have already negated any need for the plants to supply sucrose to any mycorrhizae for sourcing nutrients anyways?

- Canola and other brassica crops do not directly support any mycorrhizae, so in the years of monoculture canola, no carbon-rich enduring glomalin can be synthesized?

- On typical organic grain farms that disc under green manure crops at flowering, and thus create mid-summer fallow conditions, there would similarly be little glomalin synthesized that year?

- The addition of nitrogen such as ammonia gas dispersed as molecules in the fall, risks much nitrogen being grabbed firstly by soil bacteria before crops germinate and extend roots. To utilize the abundant added nitrogen for their own growth, bacteria must first digest and respire soil carbon into CO2 to obtain energy. Thus, adding some nitrogen chemicals can result in the release of ancient soil carbon into the atmosphere as respired CO2, which has been suggested to be why the adding of nitrogen chemicals for many years has not resulted in blacker carbon-richer soils? If nitrogen was coated with cane sugar, then soil bacteria would get energy and carbon from it, but instead farmers steal ancient carbon from soil for bacteria to first utilize the added nitrogen!

- Being ionic, the high concentrations of ammonia cations are known to displace calcium and magnesium cations from montmorillonite clays, out into the soil solution, permanently degrading the clay and adding cations available to pair with anions such as added sulfate to yield the white salinity salt calcium-sulfate that annually visibly accumulates to levels preventing plants from growing to sequester carbon ( (Perhaps such harsh destructive substances have been fraudulently called "fertile"izers, and ought never be listed in the 4R's as a "Right source"?)

- Some farms in the minor organic sector conduct excess oxidative soil tillage that surely continues to release ancient and recent soil carbon via stimulated microbial and erosive carbon oxidation into the atmosphere, same as did same old practices since sod-breaking as evidenced by beige soils now that at homesteading time were black?

- The same must be true for many chemical farms that have added high speed disc tillage implements to pulverize/oxidize soil carbon thrown up into wind erosion vulnerability. And also must be true for the pretend "zero-till" chemical farms that actually high speed tine harrow (till) the top 1/2 inch surface soil into pulverized desiccated oxidized dust plumes every fall and again in the spring, and roll clogs into erosive dust, as standard practice on many Prairie grain farms?

- However, tillage that merely severs the long hyphae of mycorrhizae might plausibly increase total glomalin synthesis if it results in growth of replacement hyphae and its synthesis of more of its protective glomalin, such as might occur via inter-row coulter-disc tillage to kill weeds to advantage the growth of a mycorrhizae-associated long growing season crop such as corn?

- Six inches of virgin black soil was discovered in 1980's by Dad and I on two knolls on neighbouring farms that we rented, in locations where there could never have been wind eroded soil drifts nor plowed high fencelines nor straw stacks left to decay. All knolls were thus black soil at homesteading! A recent road ditch cut into a neighbour's eroded upland revealed no black carbon in the now brown soil, nor any visible roots at all in the yellow clay beneath the top 5 inches, after a half-century of continuous-grain-cropping, and the last two decades in chemically-managed-zero-tillage wheat/canola/soybean - thus revealing zero visible sequestration of carbon.

Nitrous Oxide (non-carbon) GHG Emission from Soils:
- Also, when the soil is anaerobic via water inundation, as occurs every early spring in the low slopes and flat lands, some fall applied chemical nitrogen is converted by bacteria into the potent GHG nitrous oxide? (Having no carbon in it, nitrous oxide is ignored in carbon greenwashing statements such as Agriculture Canada's that only mentions "carbon" sequestration.)

Unnecessary Methane from Liquid Swine Manure:
- Food grade grains are now fed to factory swine, resulting in human food energy being mostly wasted as CO2 respiration by the swine, meaning most of the GHG from fossil fuels and added chemical nitrogen and the drying of late season corn that would not have been grown if not for the new swine barn, as well as GHG from the barn concrete, and the GHG from natural gas used in feed processing and the GHG from propane used for barn heating, all becomes very concentrated per unit of food in the form of factory swine meats. And then liquid urine-feces is unnecessarily stored deep (anaerobic) thru hot summer enabling warm bacterial fermentation of GHG methane gas (Measured versus modeled methane emissions from separated liquid dairy manure show large model underestimates, and neurotoxic, viral immunity suppressing H2S gas (Ambient hydrogen sulfide exposure increases the severity of influenza A virus infection in swine Swine excrement could instead be banded daily under soil whenever not frozen, and only stored when winter's cold prevents creation of H2S and the GHG methane.

(If the methane from grazing cattle is the same as was the methane from grazing bison for 12000 years, then net new GHG from true grass-fed beef is much lower than from typical hog?)

Swine barns could easily be heated without GHG emitting fossil fuels, via ground source heat pumps, or via biomass energy sources such as grain straw, cattails or willow coppicing, plus exhaust air heat exchangers (enabling UV treatment at night to destroy viral aerosols such as the 1918 swine flu emitted from barns, to prevent humanizing a barn epidemic).

And, of course, the GHG from Farm Machines:
- Grain farmers burn fossil fuel for seeding and harvesting and marketing. Most organic farmers burn extra fossil fuel for tilling dry soil in the fall, like most chemical farmers burn extra fossil fuel for frequent pesticide applications. Plus the common reprogramming of new tractor engines after purchase, to negate need for buying an additive to prevent the elevated nitrous oxide created by the higher temperatures in newer diesel engines. Plus the GHG embedded in purchase decisions for the manufacture/delivery of fertilizers, pesticides and new machinery.

When to Grow Glomalin?

I suggest the greatest opportunity for significant new carbon sequestration into our carbon-depleted soils, in the form of enduring glomalin-related-soil-protein, to be during the high angle solar radiation, warm long days of each summer, via our growing mycorrhizae-associating grain crops. New mycorrhizae hyphae can be grown every year to help deliver nutrients and water to our crops, also synthesizing more of the enduring glomalin to protect its hyphae, achieving sequestration of carbon into microbial-resistant glomalin every year, some of which may be further protected via sorption onto clay minerals?

In December 2022, the above was communicated to approx 50 Canadian soil scientists and agronomists, and to the Sustainable Agriculture Strategy Advisory Panel:

No corrective response has been received. The science discussion has been confirmed worthy by a scientist working in this field.

Practical Government Actions to Reduce Net GHG from Farms

March 9, 2024

1. Finance Reform for Economic Growth and Mental Health:

Governments should consider legislating Small Business Lending Acts and Profession of Business Lender Acts to enable increased entrants and continuance of farm businesses, and faster implementation of less polluting technologies, while averting mental illnesses induced by financial stress owing to current adversarial legal processes.

The following initiatives would enable farmers to have greater access to capital and confidence to invest in managing soils to sequester carbon, nitrogen fertilizers that reduce nitrous oxide emissions, and new energy sources and engines to reduce unabated fossil origin GHG emissions.

Also prevent most farm stress induced mental illness, deprivement of farm children's needs, and many suicides caused by lender callousness and adversarial legal processes.

Also stimulate productive economic growth. And enable the waves of migrants from a possible future too hot south to create their own business livelihoods soon after arrival here, instead of our existing companies probably failing to capitalize rapidly enough to hire and prevent poverty for many of us then.

1.a. Enact Small Business Lending Acts
-Prohibit spousal guarantees for mortgages that are already >150% secured by real estate.
--Prevents lenders from choosing bullying to inflict unnecessary mental stress on spouses who are not farm business partners, better ensuring for example that children can be adequately fed from a spouse's own non-farm income.
--Spare spouses from serious double stress, such as if working in emergency health care.

-Prohibit lenders unnecessarily combining more than one land title as security for a single mortgage document. This would allow debtors in financial distress to default on selected mortgages and risk forfeiture of only those properties, while retaining control of essential properties for a managed honourable business scale-down or restructure of operations.

-At debtor's option, require a mortgage in stressful default to be converted into a joint title in the real estate with the lender as the non-operating joint owner. Being named on the registered title, lender is thus assured of ultimate principal repayment when debtor sells the land or retires by age 75. Lender also assured of fair market interest earnings by varying it with the Bank of Canada rate. This avoids adversarial and costly legal proceedings to protect the lender's capital.

1.b. Finance new engines. Governments should recommend to chartered banks and credit unions, and order FCC, BDC, MASC and other public-owned lenders , to provide longer repayment amortizations for equipment with engines that emit no fossil origin GHG, rationalized by such engines not likely facing the earlier obsolescence and thus rapid depreciation of fossil GHG emitting engines.

1.c. Legislate the Profession of Business Lenders with a code of ethics requiring professional ethical service of the capital needs for all businesses, regardless of scale, or of profitability relative to other farmers, or any other discriminatory criteria (same as professional dentists must serve the public's needs to cure tooth pain, and not to cause pain). Amend the federal Bank Act and provincial Credit Union Acts to require oversight of all small business loans by a professional business lender.

-Chartered banks and Farm Credit Corporation rank their clients via relative monetary profits and financial scale, and then ruthlessly decline working capital growth to the lower performers and smaller debtors, to achieve their selling-out and consolidation of farmlands into fewer large debt customers, to reduce lenders' administrative costs. Instead of assessing a uniform charge per document to cover admin costs, small borrowers are discarded as time wasting desk clutter.

-In aggressive response to losses in the Toronto office tower financing scandal, (as a person representing an insurance company investor at those meetings warned "They'll be coming after you little guys next"), the chartered banks did harm and end hundreds of small Canadian entrepreneurs via retroactively changing the terms of operating loans in 1994. The consequence was Canadian productivity growth falling and remaining behind that of the USA. CIBC's secret changed computer processes also shut down small debt farmers via internally falsely reporting profitable small farms to be unprofitable (via discarding their reported accrual adjustments to cash basis tax reports!), and thereby ordered cessation of operating finance service, facilitating land consolidation into their larger debt customers. As explained by former CIBC farm loan officers, and a branch manager who retired early due to "no longer being able to work for a company that treated its customers so badly", details of CIBC's actions commencing 1994:

-To maintain usage of existing fixed assets, fossil fuels will decline in market price as necessary to always remain cheaper than alternative energy. Farmers who choose higher cost non-fossil GHG fuel, or low nitrous oxide fertilizers, or sequester carbon in soil, will be relatively less profitable and consequently declined capital by banks, or government can impose transformative culture shift upon the lending industry by requiring lending staff to all be elevated to respected professionals dedicated to serving the best interest of every client, same as ethically required of every other important profession in Canada. Professionalism would empower loans officers to resist possible directives from head office to treat clients with malpractice, and they would all welcome this instead of now living under risk of being fired for insubordination if they first serve their client's needs whilst still duly protecting the capital. Chartered banks are ruled top down like war lords' rule in Afghanistan, without unions or professional codes of ethics protecting staff.

-Professionalizing lending staff would thus ensure reliable capital service to all small businesses, to enable continuance of working capital despite probably lower cash profitability due to transitions to new agronomy sequestering carbon in soils, new fertilizers with low nitrous oxide emissions, new energy sources and new engines to reduce unabated fossil origin GHG emissions.

-Governments' climate change mitigation initiatives, same as many of its economic prosperity initiatives, shall continue to fail unless capital lending is first professionalized away from the ruthless authoritarian traditions that have attracted some psychopaths into bank management resulting in thousands of viable businesses needlessly ended or starved of capital for growth.

1.d. Enable Entrepreneurs' Credit Unions with internal capital markets where competitive bid interest rates are accepted by investors and entrepreneurs. Security for capital is via the credit union and entrepreneur holding joint title in real estate. The credit union would be ultimately backed via government guaranteeing to purchase the credit union's joint title in real estate for long delinquent loans after 10 years, because government outlives all and via its infrastructure decisions determines the long-term value of real estate. Concept such as described:

2. Machinery Power Conversions towards low net GHG:

Fund graduate students at engineering and mechanical schools to design and publish plans for modification of existing farm equipment to lower fossil origin GHG emissions.

2.a. Replacement of diesel engines with electric motors in combines and sprayers, powered by:
- hydrogen fuel cell battery,
- lithium battery,
- sodium battery, to be swapped out with another freshly charged via on-farm solar;

2.b. Using on-farm solar electric energy for hydrolysis to generate hydrogen, then into ammonia for storage and then back to hydrogen at fuel usage.

2.c. Conversion of diesel engines to direct usage of hydrogen as fuel (eg. Cummins in 2027).

2.d. Adaptation of old engines to filter and warm canola oil for direct use as fuel.

2.e. Possible carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide capture at exhaust for long term storage.

3. Reform of Canada Fossil Fuel Charge / Climate Action Incentive Payment

If democratic governments decide to encourage conversion to lower GHG-emitting alternative energy systems by assessing a charge/tax on unabated fossil carbon GHG-emitting fuels, then the charge assessed on each business' fuel purchases should be retained in a distinct account in the name of the business, to be used only for purchases and investments in lower GHG-emitting machines and fuels by the business, and thus not be a tax extracted from the business.

3.a. Usage in barns, greenhouses, houses and grain dryers already built or installed should be exempt, or delayed charge assessment until a few years after assessing the charge on new builds.

energy as electrical energy, local straw cattails coppiced willow for thermal energy, heat exchanger flumes to conserve energy (also enabling UV sanitation of barn exhausts of viruses), radiation absorbent cladding to capture sun energy, etc.

-allows for continuation and slow decline of the operations of existing fossil gas and propane industries, conserving employment and usage of the depreciating assets already invested.

3.b. If any such charge is later assessed on fossil carbon fuels used by a farm business, those funds should be retained as available for usage by that same business within a few years to invest in buildings or equipment using non-fossil carbon GHG-emitting fuels or to purchase such fuels.

-for example the funds could be held in a distinct new AgriInvest account and thereby retained visible within the farm's equity.

-thus none of the funds from such charge should be reallocated or paid out to other persons via the Climate Action Incentive Payment.

3.c. Any such charge which may be contemplated against farm usage fuels should continue to be delayed a few years until cost effective alternative fuels and engines are practical and available.

- to not risk economic instability of the world's critical food supply.

3.d. If governments wish to assess a pollution tax to generate revenues to pay for remediating the environmental damage of pollution, then such taxes should be assessed at the wholesale level to be paid by the manufacturer of the products known to result in release of harmful pollutants.

-Because manufacturers of fossil-origin GHG emitting energy products, for example, could choose to invest in and produce less polluting or alternative energy products, it is they who should be held responsible for the environmental harm resulting from their existing products, whereas consumers and farmers have no economically viable energy alternatives other than the limited options manufacturers offer.

4. Perennial Vegetation Exempt from Drainage Tax, Road Allowances fund Re-Wilding:

4.a. Exempt lands in perennial vegetation (which retain and evapotranspirate rainfall back into the atmosphere same as prior to modern road construction and annual cropping), from property taxation for funding water drainage such as culverts, bridges, and ditches.

The original prairie, forest and marsh maximally retained and utilized rainfall, and existing rivers removed excess waters. Where the perennial vegetation was killed, water runoff has increased, requiring construction of drainage works.

For the costs for water drainage such as all culverts, bridges and ditches, limit property tax assessment to only those lands which have ceased to evapotranspire rainwater thru perennial plants. Thus, tax all public and private roads and parking lots, roofs and saline patches for the public costs for drainage. Initially assess annual cropped land at 50% tax rate, later optimizing possibly via adjustments for total days in living cover. Assess perennial vegetation at zero rate.

- This also incentivizes carbon sequestration and retention in enduring glomalin, and protection of carbon stored in perennial vegetation.

-Wild perennial vegetated lands have not contributed any new water runoff requiring modern drainage works.

4.b. Assess Rent on Farmed Road Allowances, for Ecology and C Sequestration.

Provinces should consider having municipalities/counties assess a rental charge to farmers who grow annual crops on road allowances, at approx 50% of the current market land rent for land of similar quality, and use the revenue to establish perennial wild ecology if and where currently deficient and land owners are interested, or for other carbon capture/sequestration projects.

5. Crop Insurance:

Crop insurance should provide insurance protection for all crops. For example, any crop mixture could be assessed for loss by simply designating it to be the dominant crop and counting all dockage as though being that crop.

Simple weather data-based extreme heat and frost insurance should also be offered for all crops including intercrop mixtures.

-- These would enable farmers to enhance mycorrhizae growth and its glomalin production every year via growing intercrops (such as adding mycorrhizal peas into canola).

6. AgriInvest Subsidy:

6.a. Commencing 2026, exclude liquid manure producing farm businesses from the AgriInvest subsidy if the excrement is stored warm through summer resulting in the fermentation and unabated release of toxic H2S and methane GHG.

-Cool storage thru winter prevents much bacterial fermentation of both hydrogen sulfide and methane.

-Barn owners can easily arrange for local farmers to accept liquid manure direct from barns spring thru until fall freeze-up, such as for banding under soil between rows of corn.

6.b. Government should consider, possibly commencing in 2028, excluding from AgriInvest subsidy any crop which cannot associate with glomalin-synthesizing mycorrhizae, unless the farmer attests that it was intercropped, or after harvest cover-cropped, or otherwise managed to support continuance of mycorrhizae life and growth to increase total soil glomalin carbon.

7. Pesticides Knowledge:

Government fund prompt evaluations all pesticides (fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, bactericides, etc) for risk of impeding the initial root association with mycorrhizae, and risk of translocating into the crop's associated mycorrhizae and then impeding its glomalin synthesis.

Publicly report the assessment of each pesticide, and review its recommended practices.

8. Chemical Fertilizers Knowledge:

8.1. Government fund evaluation of all licensed fertilizers for:
- GHG emissions in manufacture,

- cation exchange onto clays in soil, resulting in soil salination via displacement of Ca, Mg, toxic Al etc out of the clays and into the soil solution,

- loss of ancient soil carbon into CO2 GHG via the respiration of bacteria in order to obtain energy and carbon atoms to first utilize added nitrogen before plants can access it,

- possible supply of nitrogen direct into mycorrhizae to increase glomalin production,

- nitrous oxide emissions,

and then publicly report and rank all fertilizer products by relative total GHG emissions.

8.2. Government fund public sector scientists to imagine and develop new nitrogen product chemistries that have less or none of the GHG-emitting problems of the current limited list of nitrogen fertilizers that industry has offered essentially unchanged for the last half century.

-Other synthesized molecules could be developed to carry nitrogen into soil, such as non-ionic forms to avoid salination.

9. Soil Resource Protection Knowledge:

Use aerial imagery to map annual changes in salinity patches, soil bare of vegetation, record wind erosion events, and publish the maps.

-Plants cannot be grown and thus carbon cannot be sequestered in saline patches, which thus only net emit CO2 GHG from ancient soil carbon.

-Wind erosion oxidizes soil carbon into CO2.

-Hot bare soil likely kills mycorrhizae.

-UV radiation of surface carbon might oxidize it into CO2?

Public awareness will encourage better private stewardship of the soil resource essential for the public's sustainable food supply for generations ahead.

10. Recognition of Idealized Enduring Carbon Sequestration Agronomy:

Governments, and/or Farmers for Climate Solutions or other associations, could facilitate a public registry into which farmers could voluntarily self attest their fields and crops using a carbon sequestering agronomy. Marketers might then further certify and compete for these crops as ingredients for climate responsible branding of retail products. For example:

Attestation of Grain Farming Agronomy for Enduring Carbon Sequestration:

"Because mycorrhizae coats its long hyphae filaments with microbial-decay-resistant carbon-rich glomalin-related-soil-proteins, I therefore:

-1. Ensure all soils on farm grow mycorrhizae associated plants for most days of every summer. After every tillage event, reseed promptly to mycorrhizal associating plants (thus no fallow).

-2. Diligently prevent, desalt and re-vegetate bare salinity patches with mycorrhizal associated plants (otherwise bare soil can only net respire CO2 GHG via bacteria digesting soil carbon).

-3. Intercrop non-mycorrhizal brassica crops with peas/barley/soybeans/corn/timothy/clover etc that can associate with mycorrhizae (to thereby sequester enduring carbon that year).

-4. Limit tillage as necessary to retain wind-resistant soil clogs and avoid tillage when oxidation of soil organic matter into CO2 via wind erosion is possible.

-5. Retain intact surface vegetation cover over winter, to prevent evaporative capillarity salination in early spring, to shield soil from sun UV, to reflect sun heat radiation, and to prevent wind erosive oxidation of soil carbon into CO2.

-6. Avoid pesticides that translocate to roots and into mycorrhizae fungi where plausibly lethal halting the synthesis of glomalin. Reject seed treatments that delay the nutrient-supplying 'rhizophagy cycle' and the mycorrhizal symbiotic association with the seedling's roots.

-7. Ensure nitrogen sources do not emit unabated GHG in manufacture, do not salinate soil by displacing cations out of clays into the soil solution, do not create nitrous oxide above levels found in nature, and do not first feed soil bacteria to utilize the added N via digesting soil organic matter to obtain both carbon atoms and energy via its respiration releasing CO2 as GHG.

-8. Place phosphate at enough distance from seed to encourage symbiotic mycorrhizae growth to be first to access the P (thereby adding glomalin).

-9. Reject sales of grain for livestock feed if the excrement is stored anaerobic emitting neurotoxic hydrogen sulfide and the more potent GHG methane (because crops are intended to be eaten and respired back into only non-toxic CO2 )."

-10. Maintain nitrous oxide reduction controls on diesel engines as regulated and installed by the manufacturer.

Date, Name, Signature: _(signed Feb. 24, 2024 by Grant Rigby)__________ .

Copyright of Grant Rigby

11. Glomalin Growing Days Incentive Program:

Voluntarily, farmers may report, by location and acreage and crop, the total Glomalin Growing Days (GGD) that a mycorrhizae-associating crop species was growing and likely nourishing mycorrhizae resulting in enduring carbon sequestration via glomalin synthesis. Government initially, supplemented by markets, would provide incentives for acres having sufficient Glomalin Growing Days.

This Glomalin Growing Days Program would issue a payment for acres where:
- GGD exceeded 90% of the frost-free days following spring seeding of annual crops, and

- soil remains untilled and intact residue mulch covered following harvest until next spring, to preserve intact living mycorrhizae to rapidly associate with next year's seedling roots, and to prevent oxidative winter wind erosion of surface dust releasing CO2 GHG, and to prevent early spring salination diminishing plant growth and thus carbon capture in future years. Thus any tillage or non-selective herbicide is promptly followed by seeding a mycorrhizal crop to produce more glomalin whenever possible (thus no fallow devoid of plants).

- A national committee of university tenured fungi scientists would be public funded to annually advise and revise which pesticides and chemical nutrients likely significantly diminish glomalin production. (Pesticide licensing data may not have tested whether the products harmed mycorrhizae.) GGD would thus be limited to the period when such toxins are absent from the roots.

-Nitrogen addition practices would need to limit nitrous oxide GHG emissions, as recommended by a public funded national committee of university tenured soil scientists.

Perennial crops would receive a higher payment per acre due to more fully optimizing annual total and depth of carbon sequestering glomalin production.

Intact native lands managed for agriculture and production/retention of glomalin would qualify, or alternatively be recognized as appreciated by all Canadians to aid ecological and climate responsible branded marketing of beef. (Note that methane produced by grazing cattle does not increase total GHG if the land has been similarly grazed by bovines for thousands of years, because methane has a relatively short half life in air and thus grazing cattle maintain methane at the same level as it always has been.)

Farmers voluntarily self attest their GGD and acres via signature. The location/ acres/ crops/ GGDays attested are listed on a public registry for 28 days prior to issuing payments before Easter, thereby allowing for community scrutiny to help limit fraud.

This public registry of lands and crops capturing carbon into enduring glomalin would be expected to aid marketings to some buyers who may compete to purchase these identified carbon-capturing crops, for branding initiatives earning consumer support via higher prices, and to facilitate preferential exports to countries such as the EU soon to require low GHG practices for all imports.

The funds for this Glomalin Growing Days Incentive program could be those already allocated to AgriInvest, transforming it from a gross income subsidy, into an acreage payment investment from other citizens' taxes, to incentivize enduring carbon sequestration back into soils to help lower atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and consequent risk of excess global climate warming, while enhancing security of their sustainable food supply by regenerating healthier soils.

(This article ranges beyond my science education, thus it may err. Critique is thus required.)

Summary: I suggest farmers grow glomalin, and scientists ask new research questions.

Grant Rigby March 9, 2024
BScAg, MScFood
homestead farmer near upper Pembina towards Turtle Mountain, The Prairies, Earth.

Top of Page

Carbon Capture
via Glomalin?

(made by mycorrhizae)

GHG Agric Policies?

- your critique requested.


(Advertisement placed in four SW Manitoba newspapers mid January 2024.)