Carbon Tech Banks on Deeper Roots

Jan 31, 2024

One startup is working to remove the obstacle of adopting a new practice to be eligible for carbon market incentives by making plants increase their carbon sequestration by design. Named Cquesta, the company has licensed nine patents from the Salk Institute to modify root architecture.

“Our goal is simple: use traits to help plants grow deeper roots,” says Cquesta CEO Michael Ott. “Deep roots are universally desired in ag because they enable plants to tolerate stress, such as a drought, much better. Additionally, farmers can generate carbon credits just from using the new seed and don’t have to change agronomic practices to participate if it’s not right for their operation, which should help with scaling and adoption.”

First, Cquesta is partnering with CoverCress. The next crops it’s targeting for development are canola, soybeans and then corn.

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