Since the end of January, the first six Texas ranchers have been paid for their agricultural practices that have enabled their land to capture and store more carbon dioxide.
These ranchers have been relying on what is known as regenerative ranching – an approach that incorporates high stock density grazing, where cattle is moved to a different paddock every day, which prevents overgrazing.
In one case, this led to the herd increasing by 30% in just two years thanks to the land being able to produce more grass than with traditional grazing.
But in addition to regenerative ranching being beneficial for the herd, this restorative practice also benefits the planet.
The bovines are limited to a relatively small area of the pasture throughout the day, which ensures that they fertilize it with their waste and also trample the grass seeds, which stimulates new grass to grow and replace the one they’ve eaten.
As a result, the naturally fertilized soil starts producing healthier grass and allows for more CO2 to be sequestered from the atmosphere and trapped in the soil.
Essentially, regenerative ranching aims to replicate the way natural cycles work, and the animals can be rotated as often as twice a day to avoid irreparably damaging the grass.
And now in addition to the increased bottom line ensured by the growing herd count, ranchers can benefit from additional financial incentives distributed by Grassroots Carbon.
The San Antonio-based start-up has paid a total of $200,000 to six ranchers in Texas, whose soil was measured for the amount of carbon captured by it last summer.
The measurements were done by the BCarbon group in a lab, and for every metric ton of CO2 found in the soil, it assigned one ‘carbon credit’.
Grassroots Carbon uses these carbon credits to help companies offset their carbon footprints by acting as a broker between them and ranchers and farmers.
The Texas start-up also assists local ranchers by providing grazing management software called Pasture Map to help those interested in implementing a regenerative ranching program.