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Studying greenhouse gases in Canada

Studying greenhouse gases in Canada

The Canadian Forage and Grassland Association is leading a project on carbon sequestration

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A national project is designed to show how forage and grasslands producers can use high-performance management techniques to boost yields and store carbon in the soil.

The Canadian Forage & Grassland Association (CFGA) is leading the project after it received $656,000 in funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) to participate in the Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program.

The initiative is divided into four stages:

  1. Completing a state of science literature review
  2. Developing a carbon-sequestration protocol for Canadian forage production systems
  3. Developing a best management practices guide for enhancing carbon storage in forage systems
  4. Piloting the protocol on Canadian farms

The program is in its second stage, said Cedric MacLeod, executive director of the CFGA.

“The organization found that the lack of a protocol to quantify soil carbon under grasslands is a major limitation to bring value to the sector,” he told Farms.com. “We’re trying to build a framework that would allow a grasslands manager to get carbon offset credits from his or her grasslands and sell them into the carbon market.”

The CFGA is working with its provincial counterparts to develop the protocols and frameworks.

In Manitoba, for example, the CFGA will work alongside five farmers to represent a wide range of greenhouse gas reduction strategies.

“Quite frankly, the five producers that we selected represent a growing number of what we feel are a rapidly increasing number of really informed, really keen livestock and grass producers in our province,” Duncan Morrison, executive director of the Manitoba Forage & Grassland Association, said in a July 16 statement. “It’s time to add the carbon equation to the decision mix and bolster the biodiversity, water management and soil health platforms of grassland retention, forage and livestock production and producer profitability.”

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