Getting Paid For Good Grazing: The Carbon Market of the Future

Oregon Forage and Grassland Council’s free Zoom series “Lunch With Forages” kicked off last week with a look at a potential new revenue stream for graziers: trading good grazing practices for cash. Debbie Reed, the Executive Director of Ecosystem Services Marketing Consortium, was the featured speaker and she described the carbon market and making it work for graziers. The Science Behind It - Simplified Conscious graziers (like our On Pasture readers!) are often well aware of the ecological benefits associated with their management strategies. They know that sound grazing practices support healthy, permanent grasslands that improve soil structure and functionality. Healthy soil improves water infiltration and holding capacity as well as provides habitat for organisms that aid in decomposition and nutrient cycling. While these benefits ultimately improve our bottom line, they also provide important ecosystem services that improve our environment as a whole. The best example of this process comes in the form of the cycle of that element we love to hate, but can't seem to live without: carbon. In photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen. While some carbon is released back into the atmosphere through respiration, it primarily provides the means for growth within the plant. Plant

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