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Wednesday, 26 October 2016 14:16

Forage important resource economically

Written by  Cdn. Forage and Grassland Assoc.
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Economically, with a direct value of $5.09 billion, forages are Canada’s third largest crop.


Studies on the monetary value of their environmental impact indicate they double that worth. As Canada considers the recently-proposed federal plan for pricing carbon pollution, forage producers across the country want to stress the environmental good their sector offers.
Perennial forage crops help reduce carbon because their root systems can store up to 2.7 times more carbon than annual crops. They also sequester carbon deeper in the ground and, because less tilling is done on forage and grassland fields, slow the breakdown and release of carbon into the atmosphere.
A study of the Alberta forage industry revealed the province could generate approximately $14 million in the provincial carbon offset market, pending the approval of forage-related offset protocols. Other environmental benefits of forages and grasslands include reduced nitrogen fertilizer costs and the energy costs associated with applying nutrients, increased soil quality, better control of soil erosion and improved water filtration and internal drainage. There are also growing opportunities for forages as a source of biomass fuel and biomaterials which can help reduce Canada’s dependence on fossil fuels.

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