In Missouri, CoverCress, Inc., announced a new collaboration with the Salk Institute to improve plant yield, soil health and soil organic carbon storage in cover crops via cutting-edge technologies developed by the Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative (HPI).
HPI is an innovative, scalable and bold approach to address climate change by turbocharging plants’ ability to capture and store larger amounts of carbon from the atmosphere in their roots and keeping it buried in the ground for long periods of time. Salk researchers aim to develop these Salk Ideal Plants to mitigate the disastrous effects of climate change by drawing down significant amounts of the excess carbon in our atmosphere while also providing more food, fuel and fiber for a growing population. The HPI initiative received funding of more than $35 million from over 10 individuals and organizations through The Audacious Project, a highly competitive program housed at TED, in 2019.
The inclusion of HPI genes in CoverCress seed is expected to significantly boost the potential carbon sequestration of this new cash crop from the estimated one ton per acre that already occurs.