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Helping David Take on Goliath

Climate stewards take aim at herbicides, tout healthy soils 

It takes good soil for plants to grow healthy and vibrant. It takes brave souls to push for better legislation to make that happen.

Last year, environmentalists and organic farmers scored a win when the Maryland Legislature passed the Healthy Soils Program and Gov. Larry Hogan signed the bill. The program works to sequester the global-warming bad guy, carbon, in Maryland soil while increasing its biological activity.

Soil sequesters carbon by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere — where it’s causing all the trouble — and storing it in the earth’s carbon pool. Plants aid the sequestration by taking carbon into their leaves and down to their roots, where microorganisms in healthy soil convert it into humus. Undisturbed, that carbon is permanently fixed in the soil.

The development of healthy soils is hindered, says Dick Vanden Heuvel of the Climate Stewards of Greater Annapolis, by the widespread use of the controversial herbicide Roundup.

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