Summary: This paper demonstrates that enteric emissions (methane) from cows are not a climate impediment when the animals are managed in a way that builds soil, thus, capturing carbon. Specifically, using a life cycle assessment that weighs emissions against sequestration, it calculates a net drawdown of approximately 2 tons of carbon per hectare per year (0.8 tons per acre per year) after a conversion from heavy continuous to multi-paddock grazing. This paper finds that “…cow-calf farms converting from continuous to MP (multi-paddock) grazing in the SGP (Southern Great Plain) region are likely to be net carbon sinks for decades.”
Wang, Tong, W. Richard Teague, Seong Park, and Stan Bevers. 2015. “GHG Mitigation Potential of Different Grazing Strategies in the United States Southern Great Plains.” Sustainability 7 (10):13500.