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(INDIANAPOLIS) – Instead of targeting smokestacks to control climate change, some ag groups believe they can solve the problem of carbon emissions through farming.

The ag research group Indigo has launched what it calls the Terraton Initiative, a decadelong research project with a goal of sucking a trillion tons of carbon out of the atmosphere and into the soil. Indigo’s Chris Malone explains harnessing photosynthesis could simultaneously address greenhouse gases and make soil more productive. 

Malone told the Forbes Ag Tech Summit in Indianapolis the project still faces hurdles, starting with up-front costs of technology. Indigo is also studying how to maximize and measure the amount of carbon pulled out of the air, and whether different regions and crops would require different approaches.

Jay Watson with General Mills says the project is one example of ways the ag industry is trying to improve yields and make farmland more sustainable by mimicking what nature does on its own.

(Photo: valio84sl/Thinkstock)