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The McKenzie Field Trial

Managing Grazing Lands for Carbon Uptake

The McKenzie Field Trial takes place near McKenzie ND. This trial is looking at the how grazing management effects the net carbon uptake in grasslands that are being used for livestock grazing. The location is unique in that it has enough flat ecologically similar space that can be divided into a control and experimental area. The experimental area is further divided into small 1.5 - 3.0 acre paddocks. Every month one paddock is chosen for a mob grazing event where approximately 150 cow calf pairs are allowed to graze for 24-48 hours. Some of the variables we are measuring include:

  • Leaf area - how much of the leaf is available for photosynthesis,​

  • CO2 - how much CO2 is moving through the air. ​

  • Carbon content in plants - how much carbon is in the plants both dead and alive.

  • The carbon content in the soil at the start of the grazing season and at the end.

  • And dozens more.


A Special Thanks to our Rancher


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