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Eat A Hamburger guilt free (at least the meat)

Grazing Cattle instead of tilling fields fights global warming. Eat your big mac guilt free! (at least the meat)
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This may sound crazy but the numbers say that grazing cattle instead of tilling fields helps fight global warming. The numbers are below.

A cow produces 60 kilos per head per year of methane gas. Normal tillage farming, (growing cereals, soy beans etc.) releases carbon into the atmosphere at about 3 tons per hectare. Switching to grass (to graze cattle say) sequesters another 750 kg per year. So you get a net gain of 3,750 kgs of carbon sequestered (or kept in the soil and out of the atmosphere) by switching to cattle grazing.

This seems to more than makes up for the 60 kilos of methane produced per head of cattle. Multiplying 60 kilos of methane times 25 (methane they say is worse than carbon for the atmosphere) yeilds 1,500 kg of green house gas (per hectare assuming 1 hd per hectare).

Subtract that from the carbon sequesterd from grazing and you still get a 2,250 kg of green house gas taken out of the atmosphere by switching from tillage farming to cattle grazing. Also it usually takes a lot more than a hectare of grass pasture per head to grow cattle.

http://www.swcc.cn/waswc/articles/Soil Conservation and the Kyoto Protocol Facts and Figures-new.htm#Global

So finally we can eat a big T bone and not feel guilty! That is what the numbers say anyway. Eat grass fed beef and help save the World from global warming!!!

Imathinker, Jul 17 2004


       And the cattle eat...
RayfordSteele, Jul 17 2004

       This really isn't made up. Grazing cattle is much healthier for the atmosphere than growing crops via tillage agriculture. The cattle eat grass by the way.
Imathinker, Jul 17 2004

       Do you happen to know how this concept fares when low till or no till farming techniques are introduced? The techniques are becoming more common according to the big grain and cotton farmers that I've spoken to.
half, Jul 17 2004

       half- Yes zero till planting is the next best thing to leaving land in pasture. Zero till is a win, win for everyone involved. You take even more carbon out of the atmosphere when zero tilling (but you do have to usually use some herbacides). Both zero till and pasture grazing take green house gases out of the environment when compared to traditional tillage. See the link above. Both are wealth generators and fight global warming at the same time.
Imathinker, Jul 17 2004

       [Imathinker], are you [Imaguitargod]'s cousin or something? Strange familiarity between nicknames and ideas.
Pericles, Jul 18 2004


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