Challenges and opportunities for carbon sequestration in grassland systems: a technical report on grassland management and climate mitigation

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Summary: This 2010 FAO report by lead editor Richard Conant of Colorado State University, makes a strong case for grasslands restoration as a climate mitigation strategy and “improved grazing management” as one of the most important practices for enhancing soil carbon stocks. The authors write, “Practices that sequester carbon in grasslands can enhance productivity, and policies designed to encourage these practices could lead to near-term dividends in greater forage production and enhanced producer incomes…..Improved grazing management (management that increases production) leads to an increase of soil carbon stocks by an average of 0.35 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 [mg of Carbon per hectare per year] …Grazing practices that ensure adequate plant recovery before re-grazing will enhance soil and biomass carbon, capitalize on animal based nutrients and offset ruminant methane emissions.”

Conant, Richard T (Ed). 2010. Challenges and opportunities for carbon sequestration in grassland systems: a technical report on grassland management and climate mitigation.  Prepared for the Plant Production and Protection Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rome), 9:1020-4555.