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Report says agriculture can slow global warming

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A report said better agriculture practices can reduce global warming.
A report said better agriculture practices can reduce global warming.

By fully implementing better food production and land use practices, world agricultural production could significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help reverse the process of global warming, according to a new report.

Although carbon capture and sequestration technologies will not be ready for implementation for a decade at best, the new report by the Worldwatch Institute and Ecoagriculture Partners said better land use management practices available today can sequester greenhouse gases that are already in the atmosphere.

"The bottom line is that innovations in agriculture provide the best opportunity to remove carbon from the atmosphere," said Worldwatch president Christopher Flavin.

The report said more than 30 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are linked to agriculture and land use, rivaling the combined emissions of the transportation and industry sectors. Emissions from farm equipment are relatively minor compared to carbon emissions from livestock.

Rotational grazing, manure management, methane capture for biogas production and improved feeds and feed additives can reduce livestock-related emissions, the report said.

Some practices such as cutting use of nitrogen fertilizers and preventing soil erosion can lead to greater carbon sequestration in soil.

Farming with more perennials to produce food, livestock feed and fuel could improve carbon sequestration in the vegetation and soil, the report said.
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