Climate Change - Forages

 Knowledge Nuggets | Fact Sheets | Research Papers

Knowledge Nuggets

  • Grasslands can be managed as carbon dioxide sinks when managed for optimal production.
  • Species that are best suited to the local soil and climate are best able to maximize growth and sequester carbon. Species that have drought and heat tolerance are able to maintain green leaf area during drought thereby sustaining productivity and CO2 uptake.
  • Species that have tolerance to periodic flooding will continue vegetative growth and also continue sequestration.
  • Choose species that initiate growth early in the spring and maintain growth late into the season so that the length of the growing season is maximized and dormant season minimized.
  • Species with rapid regrowth potential after cutting or grazing minimize periods of slow growth when carbon dioxide releases.
  • Ensure vigorous spring growth to achieve large and vigorous tillers with adequate carbohydrate reserves in the spring. Optimize winter survival by grazing and harvesting appropriately during the critical root regenerating times in the fall.
  • Management that enhances rapid canopy development during the seedling year is important. Seedlings are vulnerable to harvest and overgrazing in the first year of growth and development.
  • Poor stand establishment leads to poor canopy development which affects stand productivity throughout the entire life of the stand. Ensure agronomic practices are optimal to achieve a healthy stand in the establishment year.
  • Minimize cultivation, if possible.
  • Do not overgraze. Carbon dioxide losses as a result of overgrazing may be as large as using summerfallow. Managed grazing methods, where sufficient residues are left to ensure regrowth and maintenance of productive species are essential. Use stocking rates appropriate to your climatic area, soil type, species used and grazing method.
  • Adequate soil fertility has positive impacts on carbon sequestration. The source of nutrients whether manure, commercial fertilizer or legume fixing nitrogen is not as important as the optimum quantities of all soil nutrients.

Fact Sheets

Best management practices for lowering greenhouse gas emissions from pastoral farming - available in PDF format

Can Grasslands Be Managed as C02 Sinks? - available in PDF format

Conservation Easements

Grazing Management Tips from the Experts - available in PDF format

Greenhouse Gas emissions - available in PDF format

Identifying and addressing knowledge gaps and challenges involving greenhouse gases in agriculture systems under climate change

Is There a Role for Biodiversity in Temperate Pastures? - available in PDF format

Linking biosphere carbon management to biomass energy - available in PDF format

Net Ecosystem Carbon Dioxide Exchange over a Temperate, Short-season Grassland: Transition from Cereal to Perennial Forage - available in PDF format

Overview of the land sector in Australia’s National Inventory

Pasture Lands Help Balance Greenhouse Gas Emissions - available in PDF format

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farms - how and why? - available in PDF format

Reducing Methane Means Money to Cattle Producers - available in PDF format

Some Points about C Sequestration in Tame Forage Crops - available in PDF format

Strategies for Reducing Enteric Methane Emissions in Forage-Based Beef Production Systems - available in PDF format

Ten Questions about Pastures and Biodiversity - available in PDF format

The Give and Take of Sequestering Carbon - available in PDF format

The Science of Changing Climates, Impact on Agriculture, Forestry and Wetlands - available in PDF format

The Science of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Grazing Management Strategies: an Investigative/Awareness Report - available in PDF format only

Research Papers

Let us know of more good research papers for this topic.

Impact of pasture type on methane production by lactating beef cows - available in PDF format only

Potential utilization of native prairie grasses from western Canada as ethanol feedstock - available in PDF format only

Predicting weed invasion in Canada under climate change: Evaluating evolutionary potential - available in PDF format only

Tree plantations still valid as carbon sinks
  For more information about the content of this document, contact Grant Lastiwka.
This document is maintained by Linda Hunt.
This information published to the web on May 2, 2006.
Last Reviewed/Revised on May 8, 2014.

Home | Contact Us | Privacy Statement
The user agrees to the terms and conditions set out in the Copyright and Disclaimer © 2006 - 2018 Her Majesty the Queen