Adaptive grazing documentary could prove valuable for arable farmers

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A US documentary might make interesting viewing for arable farmers wanting to introduce livestock or improve on their management skills.

Roots So Deep is a 4-part documentary series that follows adaptive cattle farmers and a group of scientists conducting ground-breaking research to analyse the costs and benefits of grazing in harmony with nature.

Roots So Deep is guided by director by Arizona University professor Peter Byck as he meets farmers on both sides of the fence – the farmers practicing an adaptive way to graze, and their neighbours set in generations-old methods of doing things. Byck’s team of scientists are measuring what’s happening on both sides of the fences – exploring if this adaptive grazing could help create soil health and farmer wealth.

And one question looms over the whole series: even if the science shows that the adaptive way to graze is better for the land and the farmers’ back pockets will the traditional farmers be open to adopting a different method?

Peter Byck said: “When I was hunting for solutions to climate change, I kept hearing about the soils.  Treat them well and they absorb carbon, treat them poorly and they emit carbon.  So I decided to focus on this one solution, and I learned about cattle farmers who were rebuilding their soils faster than anyone thought possible.  Were they solving climate change?  There was virtually no science.  So I got to help form a research team to find out.  That’s the story behind Roots So Deep.”

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