Knowledge for better food systems

Can cattle grazing management technique help capture and store carbon in soil?

An article from Science Daily reports on how scientists, advisors and communications specialists have come together to examine whether beef production can help restore ecosystems. They have started to examine the adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing management technique: this involves using small-sized fields to provide short periods of grazing for livestock and long recovery periods for fields.

The method mimics the migrations of wild herd animals, such as elk, bison and deer. The science team proposes a whole system science measurement approach in comparing AMP grazing with conventional, continuous grazing methods.

The question being explored is whether ranching management can create robust soils, watersheds and wildlife habitat while sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide. Peter Byck, professor of practice at the School of Sustainability and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU, states that “Current methods used to capture and store carbon are industrial in nature and expensive. Adaptive grazing is a natural technology. Ranchers who use the technique are earning more, becoming financially healthy.”

Read the full article here.

See more about grazing livestock in our research library and in particular you may want to look at the recentblog by Elin Röös on the subject.

You can read related research by browsing the following categories of our research library:

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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