Compost Additions to Grazed Grasslands
The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a non-profit enterprise of Winrock International, has approved a voluntary methodology for. This methodology accounts for the carbon sequestration and avoided greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to compost additions to grazed grasslands. The methodology was developed by Terra Global Capital with support from the Environmental Defense Fund, Silver Lab at the University of California Berkeley, and the Marin Carbon Project.
Adding compost to grazed grasslands has been demonstrated to be an effective way to increase soil carbon sequestration and avoid emissions related to the anaerobic decomposition of organic waste material in landfills. Grazed grasslands represent a large portion of agricultural working lands, and a number of recent studies have highlighted that globally grasslands are in a state of degradation.
The methodology provides a quantification framework for emissions reductions from a number of activities including avoiding anaerobic decomposition of organic material used in compost production, directly increasing soil organic carbon (SOC) content by applying compost to grazed fields, and indirectly increasing SOC sequestration through enhanced plant growth in amended fields. Apart from the economic benefit of increased forage production, applying compost to grazed grasslands also has many environmental co-benefits such as improved soil quality, decreased risk of water and wind erosion by increasing soil aggregation, and increased nutrient and water availability for vegetation.