The Tree Cutting Emissions From Brazilian Beef

The Tree Cutting Emissions From Brazilian Beef

With the help of the fast-growing eucalyptus tree, Brazil has created its first carbon-neutral beef.

Andrew H. Sweet
Andrew H. Sweet

The world's largest exporter of beef, providing almost 20% of the world's exports. Researchers at the state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) have been searching for a way to counteract the emissions from the country's massive cattle herd – culminating in 2020 with a certified brand of Carbon Neutral Beef.

Embrapa's Carbon Neutral Beef involves planting eucalyptus trees in the same area where cattle graze, turning a featureless grassland into one dotted with trees.

Around 250-350 trees per hectare is the optimal number to keep Brazilian farms financially viable, producing 25 cubic meters of wood per hectare per year.

Also, when the trees shadow the pasture, the grass in its shade gets less sunlight. The grass reacts by investing more in photosynthesis, making more of the organelle where photosynthesis takes place: chloroplasts.

Chloroplasts have higher nitrogen content needed to make protein, and so it becomes more nutritious for the cows.

Read the original story here.

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