For context to meet an overall carbon sink (or storage capacity) for a Midwest grass-finishing beef system, our work indicate a needed 0.89 metric ton carbon sequestration to offset the entire footprint, including that from enteric methane emitted by cattle. Because grazing lands occupy a vast area throughout the world, small changes in the amounts of carbon stored in this ecosystem can have significant consequences in the overall carbon cycle and atmospheric CO 2 levels. I am looking forward to the next part. Bagchi, Sumanta, Shamik Roy, Alakananda Maitra, and Rubanpreet S. Sran. Let’s start with the basics of what the research tells us. What 30 Years of Study Tell Us About Grazing and Carbon Sequestration. USDA ARS scientist Alan Franzluebbers, has indicated high potential in the eastern US as well. The more degraded a soil is, the higher its potential for improvement. Dr. Lal has written a lot more recent articles than the one cited from 2004. In regards to soil carbon and grazing management, this “new” report repackages a 2016 paper by Norborg. So, on behalf of our On Pasture community, we decided to look into it. That’s a lot. We’ll go into more detail in future articles. We have read the articles and the report you mention, and we will be addressing these in later articles. Our laboratory is currently summarizing a large Patagonia dataset with ecosystem measurements on over 2 million hectares of land mostly managed holistically, that is, using a decision-making framework that helps land managers to move toward their goals in a way that is economically, ecologically, and socially sound in their context. The carbon cycle is very complex and there are lots of things influencing how carbon gets into the soil, how long it stays there, and what makes it head back into the atmosphere. Dr. Jason Rowntree, Michigan State University. He has been included in the Thomson Reuters list of World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” every year since 2002. I’ve read that 127 page report in its entirety. Our reading has revealed that precipitation, soil type and its potential for absorbing more carbon, as well as the kind of vegetation growing in the pasture, all determine what happens to a much greater degree than grazing does. There have been recent reports that range from the acknowledgement of grazing management positive influence of ecosystem services, but not as an efficacious tool in reducing atmospheric CO2 to the denigration of grazing livestock as viable components of terrestrial landscapes. The authors, of which Rowntree is one, estimate that if these conservation approaches were completed on 25% of our crop and grasslands, the entire carbon footprint of North American agriculture could potentially be mitigated. Carbon sequestration is the long-term storage of atmospheric carbon in soil and plants. We have been on many of these ranches. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. The research has stayed static. Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. So far, we’ve read over 100 scientific papers published between 1998 and 2016. As Fred Provenza and Michel Mueret posit in their book, “The Art and Science of Shepherding: Tapping the Wisdom of the French Herders” it’s the marriage of both science and experiencial wisdom that is necessary to get the full picture. This seems plausible based on the existing carbon sequestration literature. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Let’s check back in with Dr. Lal for the answer to that question: This is a topic that makes us think about some really big numbers. It’s an interesting hypothesis, and hypotheses are where all scientific discovery begins. But it is part of the answer. https://sustainabledish.com/beef-isnt-to-blame/#, http://www.jswconline.org/content/71/2/156.full.pdf, Hungry Plants Order Up Iron From Soil Microbes, Published: 3 years ago on October 2, 2017. (HTTP response code 503). If you are a WordPress user with administrative privileges on this site, please enter your email address in the box below and click "Send". By Kathy Voth / October 2, 2017 / 6 Comments. Here’s a paper he co-authored in 2016 http://www.jswconline.org/content/71/2/156.full.pdf. ==================================== So in borrowing and repackaging Norborg, the “new” FCRN report made the same omissions. Paul Wellman. In Nature, Machmuller et al, report over an 8 metric ton annual increase in carbon sequestration over a 3 year period following the conversion of degraded cropland to grazing land in Georgia. investigated the impact of high and low continuous grazing as compared to adaptive multi-paddock grazing (AMP) in Texas (the approach advocated by Savory) and indicated the AMP treatment had an annual 3 metric tons of carbon sequestered in the soil above and beyond that of the continuously grazed treatments. Many pastures are on formerly wooded sites. That’s a pretty good thing. I thought to share a link to a report called, “Grazed and Confused: Ruminating on cattle, grazing systems, methane, nitrous oxide, the soil carbon sequestration question – and what it all means for greenhouse gas emissions” (phewf) which was released yesterday. Good grazing produces food and fiber while keeping the soil covered with vegetation, improving water storage, preventing erosion and nutrient migration, maintaining water quality, and providing wildlife habitat. The hypothesis goes like this: When livestock take a bite of grass, the grass plant sloughs off an equal amount of root mass below ground. Attempting to reduce the complexity of land management to just animals and time in a reductive scientific environment, is no different than splitting hydrogen from oxygen to study water. In 2001, Rich Conant and Keith Paustian, at Colorado State University, published a meta-analysis of 115 ranches from a variety of global environments indicating a mean annual 0.54 metric tons of carbon sequestered per hectare (ha) demonstrating the capacity for soil to capture and store carbon. Proper adoption of animals to landscapes over a variety of precipitation levels is an efficacious land management tool. Written and published by the Food Climate Research Center, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food and Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, I think that there will be some insight to these correlations. Here is Dr. Rowntree reply without the hyperlinks in this linked article: tillage of soil and establishing permanent grasslands. Microbes in the soil eat the carbon, and turn it into a stable substance so the carbon … It turns out that, though grasslands cover about 1/3 of the planet, there are other agricultural lands with greater potential to sequester carbon.
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