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AN INTRODUCTION Global Warming Sequester Carbon Regenerate Soil Nutrient-Dense Food Produce Biofuels Unstable Economics Biological Degeneration Fossil.

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Presentation on theme: "AN INTRODUCTION Global Warming Sequester Carbon Regenerate Soil Nutrient-Dense Food Produce Biofuels Unstable Economics Biological Degeneration Fossil."— Presentation transcript:

1 AN INTRODUCTION Global Warming Sequester Carbon Regenerate Soil Nutrient-Dense Food Produce Biofuels Unstable Economics Biological Degeneration Fossil Fuel Addiction HOW TO PARADIGM SHIFT Climate Change Confronting

2 Confronting A DEFINITION 1. Soil Tests 3. Biochars 4. Composts 5. Inoculants 2. Mineral Ratios 6. Cover Crops 7. Rotations 8. Marketing annual increase in measured carbon, up to 9% program to adjust major minerals & trace elements minimum annual application: initial 1000 lbs./acre organic matter digestion & feeding program microbe inoculation & feeding for The Soil Food Web continuous ground cover & minimum tillage long-term, rapid rotations of crops & livestock low carbon, eco-local distribution & sale Cover Crops continuous ground cover & minimum tillage

3 Identical to farms from Ohio to Nebraska – vast fields of corn & soybeans Summer : industrial-scale agriculture Winter Neighbors fields lie fallow – bare & brown Brandts fields are green with cover crops Fall plantings with up to 14 plant species – – blanket soil in winter – protect soil from extreme weather – feed sugar to soil microbes – support biological diversity & complexity – rot in place in spring : no-till, cover crop agriculture Half Brandts corn & soy flourish without fertilizer, and no herbicides; Other half gets less than consultants recommend Promise of no-till, cover-crop Farming Reduce agrichemical use Regenerate soil food web biology Adapt to extreme weather & climate Keep heartland churning out food David Brandt 1,200 acre farm Carroll, central Ohio (pop. 524) Four Practices set Brandt apart from other farmers First: dedication to off-season cover crops Currently used on 1% of US farmland yearly Second: hostility to tilling Second: hostility to tilling Sold his tillage equipment in 1971 Considers tillage a disruptive practice Disassembles soil food web infrastructures Third: fondness for earthworms Fourth: adds wheat to corn-soy rotation Corn-soy favored all over Corn Belt Third crop disrupts weed & pest patterns 2012 Iowa State University study: 2012 Iowa State University study: 3rd crop cuts herbicide & agrichemical use USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Advocates Soil Stewardship Trains agents to teach farmers about cover crops Brandts farm is a site used to train NRCS agents National Conference on Cover Crops & Soil HealthConfronting Climate Change National Conference on Cover Crops & Soil Health Soil health is a new initiative of USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) February 18, 2014 kicks off this major effort Forum on Cover Crops and Soil Health: Harvesting the Potential webinar broadcast live from Omaha 200 free meetings and soil health demonstrations Howard Buffett IL farmer, conservationist, philanthropist Tom Vilsack USDA Secretary of Agriculture The Big Picture: Conservation, Cover Crops & Soil Health Four Midwest cash crop farmers Dan DeSutter, IN - Dave Brandt, OH Clay Mitchell, IA - Gabe Brown, ND noted for focus on soil health, cover crops conservation tillage, and farm profitability will describe benefits of their soil management Cover crop use ranges from cereal rye& ryegrass to crimson clover, hairy vetch & oilseed radishes After the webinar: local discussion groups plan Grower Discussion meetings & summer field days Info & assistance for soil health management Try to mimic Mother Nature. Cover crops work together like a community – you have many people helping instead of one. continuous ground cover & minimum tillage Cover Crops Under Cover Farmers 28-minute youtube video Three farmers in Stanley County, NC on how they use multi-species cover crops to realize economic returns on their investment the first year video produced in partnership by Dr. Robin 'Buz' Kloot, Earth Sciences & Resources Institute University of South Carolina USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center

4 Confronting Climate Change A DEFINITION 1. Soil Tests 3. Biochars 4. Composts 5. Inoculants 2. Mineral Ratios 6. Cover Crops 7. Rotations 8. Marketing annual increase in measured carbon, up tp 9% fertility program to adjust element levels minimum annual application: initial 500 lbs./acre soil digestive system & feeding program microbial inoculation & feeding program continuous ground cover & minimum tillage long-term, rapid rotations of crops & livestock Low carbon, eco-local distribution long-term, rapid rotations Rotations of crops & livestock

5 Dr. Allan Savory Holistic Management Abe Collins Carbon Farmers of America Joel Salatin Mob grazing & Chicken tractor Greg Judy Grass-fed beef Gary Zimmer Biological Agriculture Crops plant successions & services biodiversity & polycultures plant & insect communities : land improvement by grazing Livestock Soil Carbon Coalition long-term, rapid rotations of crops & livestock Rotations Climate Change Confronting To advance the practice put the carbon back where it belongs to turn atmospheric carbon into soil organic matter and engage people in opportunities Grass-fed beef is better for people and land. Feeding cattle grass throughout their life is the most sustainable way to raise beef. weed & pest control home-grown fertility UK National Trust This is contrary to belief livestock farming must intensify to feed increasing population. Debate on climate change & food often calls for reduced meat eating and plant-based diet, but overlooks the fact many grasslands are unsuitable for continuous cropping. Grasslands support many ecosystem services: watersheds, wildlife, biodiversity, carbon capture, weather, etc. Grazing livestock can contribute to grassland maintenance to turn grass into human food. : carbon storage by plant biomass se_climate_change

6 Reversing desertification is a global warming mitigation strategy because carbon is stored in stable, long-lasting organic matter in soil Karoo Region of South Africa Holistic Planned Grazing average rainfall: 23 cm/year Conversion of semi-desert to healthy savanna = carbon capture of 25 to 60 t C/ha Climate Change Confronting higher stocking densities tightly packed herds frequent movements well-planned rotations no technology, irrigation, or fertilizer mimic behavior of natural herds with predators Conventional Continuous Grazing Improvement in soil and vegetation restores water tables quickens desertification Vegetation cover contributes to evaporative cooling long-term, rapid rotations of crops & livestock Rotations PHOTO: Kroon Family

7 Karoo Region of South Africa average rainfall: 23 cm/year Holistic Planned Grazing higher stocking densities tightly packed herds frequent movements well-planned rotations no technology, irrigation, or fertilizer mimic behavior of natural herds with predators Conventional Continuous Grazing quickens desertification long-term, rapid rotations of crops & livestock Photos: ACHM, Seth Itzkan Barren land eroding for decades transformed to healthy grassland savanna Zimbabwe average rainfall: 60 cm/year heavy concentration of 500 cattle corralled on site 7 to 10 evenings left excess dung & plant litter In one year, fast-growing, short-rooted annuals start to grow (white stringy plants) Land is put in a monitored grazing plan Dense annuals provide ground cover to retain moisture & build biodiversity in soil Annuals are first-phase in restoration, but soil carbon capture is minimal After 8 years, perennials appear (taller pinkish-beige plants) Deep roots accelerate soil carbon capture Eventually, as grazing plan continues, site will be covered in perennials If grazing stops, plants oxidize, and land likely returns to desert After full recovery in 2530 years, SOC density will increase to 2560 tons C/ha Rotations Climate Change Confronting

8 PHOTO: Kroon Family Karoo Region of South Africa Holistic Planned Grazing average rainfall: 23 cm/year higher stocking densities tightly packed herds frequent movements well-planned rotations no technology, irrigation, or fertilizer mimic behavior of natural herds with predators Conventional Continuous Grazing quickens desertification long-term, rapid rotations of crops & livestock PHOTOS: Guillermo Osuna Las Pilas Ranch, Coahuila, Mexico average rainfall: 50 cm/year In 25 years, barren land completely revived Looks to be more water in 1963, but runoff was captured by a man-made pond; a 1-inch rain filled the pond Restoration with Holistic Planned Grazing started in 1978 Livestock doubled; grazing by a plan to give close attention to grass health In 2003, restored land holds six times more water than depleted terrain Water is held in soil and vegetation in a state called green water even a 6-inch rain is all absorbed, with no standing water in the pond Pond is grown over and no longer needed, as dried-up springs flow year-round again Rotations Climate Change Confronting


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