It cannot be said that all Mercosur soils are sequestering carbon, says an expert on livestock and climate change

Published Apr 21, 2024

Tridge summary

Walter Oyhantçabal, a Uruguayan agronomist, underscores the critical need to protect natural grasslands to combat 'depastureization,' akin to deforestation, highlighting the overlooked productivity and biodiversity of Uruguay's grasslands. These areas have faced significant reduction due to shifts towards crop cultivation and forest plantations. Oyhantçabal, with expertise in climate change and sustainable livestock, critiques the generalized view of Mercosur soils as carbon sequesters, emphasizing that carbon sequestration capacity varies and cannot solely counterbalance emissions from livestock farming. Additionally, the article discusses the complex dynamics of soil carbon balance, influenced by carbon inputs from biomass and outputs like respiration and mineralization, noting the challenges in quantifying changes due to land use alterations or agricultural practices.
Disclaimer: The above summary was generated by Tridge's proprietary AI model for informational purposes.

Original content

Walter Oyhantçabal is Uruguayan, an agronomist and specialized in livestock farming, sustainability, climate change and greenhouse gases. He was always interested in the idea of “producing without harming nature” and today he emphasizes the key role of natural grasslands: “We should protect this resource and just as we try to avoid deforestation, limit 'depastureization',” he says. He adds: “Livestock farming is in the crosshairs but, above all, industrial livestock farming.” Oyhantçabal focuses on the relationships between extensive beef cattle farming and the natural countryside, the main biome of Uruguay – shared with part of Argentina and southern Brazil – and which has been insufficiently valued in its productive capacity. “A large part of the natural grassland, one of the most productive and biodiverse in the world, has been lost due to intense processes of change in land use to crops and forest plantations,” describes this expert, who is currently a researcher at the SARAS ...
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