First Milk Taps Into Carbon Dioxide Measurement, Invests In Agricarbon

Carbon dioxide measurement technology is now helping farmers exploit the potential of soil for carbon sequestration. The dairy cooperative First Milk has acquired a 5% stake in Agricarbon – a Dundee-based carbon measurement startup.

Agricarbon aims to encourage the widespread adoption of sustainable agricultural techniques and accelerate the transition to more proactive soil stewardship. The startup wants to make a material contribution this decade to averting the climate crisis using soil as a major natural carbon sink.

It is operating a large-scale pilot project in partnership with First Milk and Nestlé that covers over 7,000 hectares of land and incorporates data from 40,000 soil samples. The soil samples collected represent one of the largest datasets of real-world soil carbon dioxide measurements in the world.

Agricarbon is one of the carbon sequestration companies that uses state-of-the-art technology to automate intensive, direct soil sample collection and analysis. This process costs at a fraction of the usual price. The company managed to attract another major investment of $2.47 (£1.8) million from Heathrow. 

Carbon Dioxide Measurement Technology Utilization

The technology will be used by Agricarbon’s clients to confirm soil carbon baselines and evidence of the atmospheric CO2 captured and stored in the soil. The investment of First Milk into this carbon measurement technology is part of its efforts to increase soil carbon capture to achieve its net zero targets.

“The data represents a breakthrough in the visibility of carbon in farm soils. As well as establishing average soil carbon levels, the pilot has also shown that there are wide variations between the levels of carbon in different fields and at different depths. This demonstrates the real opportunity to sequester significant additional carbon in soil through the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices,” said  Mark Brooking, First Milk Sustainability Director.

The company’s climate change plan is to get to net zero by 2040 at the latest and to sequester an additional 100,000 tons of carbon per year via the adoption of regenerative agricultural practices and measuring carbon footprint. Agricarbon’s robust data is needed by the company to establish an accurate soil carbon baseline and monitor future changes, which is essential to deliver the strategy.  

The investment by First Milk, on the other hand, will help Agricarbon scale its operations quickly. The startup’s ambitious plans include making high integrity, affordable soil carbon quantification accessible to farm and land businesses around the world.

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