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Holistic planned grazing article

RANGE magazine has a good article by Chris Gill and Allan Savory.

The work cycle of biological carbon

This animation shows the work cycle of biological carbon, driven by solar energy through photosynthesis. It is an energy graph, not a landscape.

Where's the carbon?

In the terrestrial carbon cycle, carbon moves from the atmosphere, to vegetation via photosynthesis in the form of complex carbon compounds (plain C in the animation), to litter and soil when the plants or leaves die, and back to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide via decay, oxidation, or burning.

The carbon cycle: alien to our understanding?

This is a preview of a forthcoming Flash animation about the carbon cycle and the work of the biosphere. It is an attempt to illustrate how alien the carbon cycle is to our understanding, which has typically been trained by our linear input-output systems and concepts of causation. And yet the carbon cycle is a background process to all life, and humans are increasingly influencing it.

However, change can happen, we can enhance the carbon cycle, and necessity is a powerful motivator.

Wichita, Kansas funds $100 acre for grass plantings in watershed

The City of Wichita, Kansas is now paying farmers in one of its watershed areas $100 an acre to put in grass. This is an incentive handled by the Cheney Lake Watershed to improve water quality for the city by working with watershed landowners.

This is yet another example of local policy leadership on water cycling, and an example of ecosystem services payments where cost and benefit are nearby. The article quoted below is by Lisa French.

"Like most farmers, David Friesen has a few acres of cropland that are always difficult to farm. In David’s case, his field near the Ninnescah River has a tendency to stay wet. Getting a crop planted and harvesting the crop are both a challenge. With a new program offered by the Cheney Lake Watershed, David is going to be paid $100/acre to seed a little more than 5 acres to Eastern gamagrass for hay or grazing. As David says, “It looks like it’s a no-brainer.”

"The Cheney Lake Watershed is now offering one-time incentive payments of $100/acre, funded by the City of Wichita, for crop acres seeded to permanent vegetation. The species used depend on the producer’s goals, soil types, and site condition. Eligible land must have five years of cropping history and must be located within the watershed east of Highway 14. Land in this area is more likely to contribute sediment to Cheney Reservoir than other areas of the watershed.

Performance criteria missing from US climate bill

Tim LaSalle at Rodale posted a nice piece in Treehugger pointing out the lack of performance criteria or monitoring in the US climate bill, and the high importance of monitoring.

"The best way to tell if a farmer’s fields are sequestering carbon is to measure annual changes in soil carbon."

Natural lawn mowers can benefit the carbon cycle

Vote for grasslands at the Manchester Guardian, to raise awareness

Tony Lovell and Bruce Ward from Australia made a presentation about grassland carbon to the Manchester Report, a project of the Guardian newspaper in the UK. They report that it was enthusiastically received, and was new information to many.

The Manchester report is running a poll for the top 10 solutions to climate change. You can vote here before July 23, and no registration is necessary:

Podcast with

Frank Aragona of interviewed me for a podcast earlier this month about policy and soil carbon. Thanks Frank for helping get the word out!

Dung beetles for pasture improvement and carbon accrual


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