UMass Carbon Farming Initiative
According to The Carbon Farming Solution to get to 350 ppm of atmospheric CO2 we need to have NET Zero carbon emissions and remove 300+ billion tons of carbon from the atmosphere. Carbon farming is the practice of sequestering carbon from the atmosphere into soil carbon stocks and aboveground biomass. Silvopasture, a carbon farming practice is the intentional addition of trees to pastures for increased productivity and biosequestration.
Research suggests that silvopasture systems are capable of storing as much as 100 tons of Carbon (367 tons of CO2) per acre while adding the yields of tree crops to the existing animal systems, and ecological benefits like reduced nutrient runoff, erosion, and animal stress from heat and wind. Traditional silvopasture systems, such as the dehesa in Spain and forest pastures in Scotland, have existed for centuries but more research and development is needed for cold climate sites in the United States.
The UMass Carbon Farming Initiative is the first temperate climate research silvopasture plot at the University of Massachusetts. The plot is a silvopasture system at the Agriculture Learning Center and integrates a diverse planting of complex hybrid chestnuts with pasture for rotationally grazed sheep.