While there has been much media attention on the deforestation in Brazil, less people know that the loss of U.S. grasslands is an even greater problem. In a report released by the World Wildlife Fund they noted that 3.7 million acres of U.S. grassland were converted to cropland in 2015. That is more than twice as much as the 1.4 million acres of Brazil forests that have been transitioned to cropland and pasture for livestock.
At HMI we are training farmers how to grow crops profitably by integrating livestock and keeping as much of their land in perennial plants to increase the farm’s economic and environmental resilience. Likewise, those practices increase the amount of ecosystem services that those farms provide through increased carbon sequestration and improved water quality as less water runs off a perennial pasture. It soaks into the ground and grows more plants and sequesters more carbon. And perennial cover means better wildlife habitat as well. With over half of the original prairies gone in the U.S., we need to get more farmers to practice these techniques. Some Holistic Management producers are able to get four times the gross profit off an acre as their neighbors who are farming conventionally. Improved land management can mean healthy land and thriving businesses to keep these grasslands productive.
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To learn more how Holistic Management agricultural producers are leading the way in these regenerative agriculture practices, visit HMI’s Regenerative Solution page.