Grass seems a very common plant. Yet it is exceptionally important to the well-being of Planet Earth. Rough grasslands and grass pastures cover about 68% of the world’s agricultural soils. What can grass power do for Planet Earth?
Grass cover can prevent soil erosion by wind or water, and can limit greenhouse gas emissions. If grass is maintained as a perennial and not clipped too short, it will develop a strong root structure that can hold soil, enable vigorous soil life, absorb much rainfall, retain moisture for plant use in dry periods, inhibit flooding in rainy seasons, facilitate clear streams, and reduce formation of ocean dead zones.
Grass gains more power when cattle are added to grasslands or pastures under a system of daily rotational grazing. This system, called management intensive grazing (MIG), mimics historic large-herd migrations across natural grasslands. Grass is even more powerful if clover or other legume is added and if no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are applied to the pasture or grasslands. Then, many important benefits can accrue: increased photosynthesis and carbon sequestration, improved soil fertility, increased forage production, cleaner/fresher air and water, improved health for farmer, farm family, community, and for the consumer of grass-fed beef.
- Two major, exceptionally important, publications support these concepts:
US publication: “FARMING WITH GRASS,” Soil and Water Conservation Society.
- UN publication: “WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable for Food Security in a Changing Climate” Hard copy, 321 p. United Nations Publications, (703) 661-1571. Or may be viewed on line:
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