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Lucerne an integral tool in the fight against greenhouse gases

Supplier: Fodder King
11 September, 2009

Lucerne, also known as alfalfa, could be used as an integral tool in Australia's attempts to meet its greenhouse gas emissions obligations.

FodderFacts No. 5

Lucerne an integral tool in the fight against greenhouse gases

Lucerne, also known as alfalfa, could be used as an integral tool in Australia's attempts to meet its greenhouse gas emissions obligations.

Lucerne is grown as fodder for animal feed, and its healthy composition drastically reduces methane output by the animals, which consume it.

Lucerne's profuse growth rapidly sucks large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and converts it to biomass.

This biomass is generated at an estimated rate of 100-150 tonnes per hectare per year and is arguably the irrigation crop equivalent of trees in this regard.

Unlike many crops, a great deal of biomass is deposited underground into lucerne crops' giant fifteen metre long tap roots and profuse root systems, hence depositing carbon deep underground.

Because lucerne is a legume, it actually creates natural nitrogen fertiliser, which is then made available for subsequent crop rotations, thus reducing the need for synthetic fertilisers, which are energy intensive to produce.

Because lucerne is a perennial crop, planted only twice per decade, there is significantly less need to burn old crop stubbles.

By using intensive lucerne farming and harvesting techniques, such as those patented by Fodder King, 80% less stubble burning is required, significantly reducing nitrous oxide emissions.

With Fodder King's technology and marketing expertise, intensive lucerne production is now profitable at mass scale and worldwide markets guarantee that an industry as big as rice or cotton, but much more environmentally friendly, could arise.

With export demand at an all time high for Fodder King's high quality fodder, there is a new opportunity to claim methane credits from other countries, thus hastening Australia's compliance with the Kyoto Protocol, to which most of the world remains committed.

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