Climate Smart Grasslands - The Root of Agricultural Carbon Markets

Grants and Contracts Details


Institution Name: University of Kentucky PI Name: Dr. S. Ray Smith Climate Smart Grasslands – the Root of Agricultural Carbon Markets Abstract-Scope of Work The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, University of Kentucky and eight other SE states are partnering on a multi-state/multi-University grant to assist farmers in improving their pastures through assistance with improved management practices and education. This large-scale pilot project that will attempt to show the benefits of grassland agriculture for carbon- sequestration and the potential for grasslands and cattle production to be a major player for any developing carbon market. To accomplish this goal, this extension focused project will work to educate, implement, and monitor on-farm practices that increase productivity and profitability and can enhance soil carbon pools and/or reduce carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases. Our partnership will also include strategic elements of the beef industry, forage industry, trade groups, peer universities, and prominent non-governmental entities that are leaders in agriculture, carbon markets, science, and conservation. Specifically, the University of Kentucky component of this multi-state project will involve establishing forage management systems which are expected to be carbon neutral or carbon positive. These systems will be established on 30 farms in the state with the assistance of UK campus staff and ten county agents around the state. The systems will include: 1) Native grass stands with a big bluestem, Indiangrass, and little bluestem blend or a monoculture of lowland switchgrass; 2) Application of alternative to traditional inorganic N fertilizers including poultry litter, N fertilizer with stabilizers, and legumes; 3) Implementation of regenerative grazing practices; 4) Planting field borders with perennial cover; 5) Establishment of silvopasture systems; and 6) Applications of biochar as a soil carbon amendment. University of Kentucky staff will monitor the carbon sequestration success of these systems through extensive soil sampling with the intent to develop field days and publication for farmers in Kentucky. If the project is successful it should help to open up carbon markets for KY farmers and encourage them to be more sustainable in their farming practices.
Effective start/end date9/5/239/1/28


  • University of Tennessee: $1,498,647.00


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