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Why Carbon Flows with Alan Lauder

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Restarting carbon flows to repair a degraded clay pan

We all know that poor management degrades paddocks, BUT, have you ever considered what is going on with the degradation process? The answer: slowly less and less life exists in the paddock, both above and below ground. Getting back to the basics, because all life relies on flowing carbon to exist, it is the reduction of flowing carbon, with poor management, that degrades paddocks. Look at the first photo of the long-term claypan. Prior to the saltbush being planted, the claypan had become bare and lifeless.  Photo 1: Planting saltbush in degraded country This series of photos will demonstrate how increasing the amount of carbon flowing through the claypan turned it into ....

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Has extension focused on the wrong aspect of carbon when discussing decision making?

A grazing paddock is a dynamic system, not a static one. Thinking carbon flows is to take a dynamic approach while thinking carbon stocks is to take a static approach. The carbon flows concept The carbon flows concept, discusses the role of carbon as it keeps moving through the paddock, above and below ground, including through livestock. The concept explains what carbon does as it moves and the processes it activates, before returning to the atmosphere. It highlights that carbon is the organiser as it flows through the landscape. It discusses the different speeds of carbon to help producers focus on the things that matter the most. The carbon flows concept ....

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What is the most fundamental thing a producer has to get right?

Did you know that cattle are 18% carbon? This is the first of a weekly column titled, 'WHY CARBON FLOWS?'. I am going to take a more expansive look at carbon to the way it is currently treated in extension.  Carbon is the main building block of cattle, grass and soil life and carries the energy that all three require. When producers sell cattle, they are selling a carbon compound. The reason I use the term carbon compound, is because carbon is the main building block of all life on this planet, including cattle. Carbon is one of the most successful atoms at bonding with other atoms. In fact, all rural ....