Grass plays an essential role in both carbon and nitrogen sequestration. In pastures, grass supplies the green plant material that is essential to the biochemical reaction, photosynthesis, which pulls carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and draws it into the soil as soil organic carbon (SOC). That wondrous process, an important form of carbon sequestration, increases the organic matter in and the fertility of the soil. In grass/clover pastures, nitrogen from the air is drawn into the root nodules of the clover. These nodules then fertilize both the clover and the grass. Managing for carbon sequestration in conjunction with nitrogen sequestration is an economical way to achieve a fertile soil that, with adequate rainfall, produces excellent forage growth.
The power of grass can be enhanced by skilled rotational grazing management of cattle on grass/clover pastures. Daily moves of cattle from one small paddock to the next supply dung, urine, and saliva fertilization, and also an intensified sequester of carbon and nitrogen into each paddock. This process causes partial root die-back, thus creating additional organic matter in the soil of each successive paddock. This organic matter is 57% carbon, and if the soil is not disturbed, can become long-lasting soil organic carbon (SOC).
The power of grass is further enhanced by organic management. The absence of chemical fertilizers and pesticides facilitates a softer soil that roots can penetrate more easily and a more vigorous life for the many important critters in the soil.