Price vs Value: The Economics of the Pastures

10 Jun

Katherine Arbuthnott and Joe Schmutz have a nuanced look at the economics of the community pastures, here. Excerpts:

“Today, when the profitability of beef production is questioned and the ecological value of grazing is misunderstood, the pastures’ benefits stand firm.

For every $1 spent, the pastures don’t only grow beef. They also generate $2.50 in research, carbon sequestration, watershed protection, specific habitat for species at risk and 12 other documented public benefits.”

“The community pastures are especially attractive for mixed and young farmers. A grain farming family’s small herd went to the federal pasture after calving and before the grain-related workload peaked. In fall ,the cows came home to clean up grain fields, eat non-marketable grain and graze hilly or flooded land.

This integrated approach to ecology, land, time and economics contributed significantly to farm diversification and income. However, it was apparently poorly understood in Ottawa. Does it also need explanation in Regina?”

“What is the solution? If wisdom and democracy are lost in Ottawa, then let’s have a Saskatchewan PFRA community pasture program.”

 

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