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Potential benefits of Agroforestry in the Central American Dry Corridor




Brock Menking


Buena Vista, Guanacaste | Costa Rica

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Our message, the model we are developing at scale for 25 years, and the example we hope to present is quite simple.

A primary goal Worldwide must be to maximize the rate, quality and time possible to photosynthesize.

The inability to build soil organic matter. The inability to absorb and retain terrestrial moisture.            

The inability to connect atmospheric components to soil components. These are the issues we must address now.

Our location in Costa Rica in the southernmost sector of the Central American Dry Corridor

provides a clear example of what is occurring Worldwide.

How can an area that receives an average of 2 meters of rainfall a year be in the advanced stages of desertification?

Deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices are reducing the storage capacity of water to be utilized in dryer times.

A four month manageable dry season is turning into a six month and beyond disaster.

Food insecurity and mass migrations northward are not a result of climate change, but rather a result of unsustainable human activities.

We will present positive results from regenerative practices within an agroforestry model.

Our pastures have interspersed trees and are primarily native grass meadows surrounded by forest.

Forest coverage is being protected and reestablished wherever possible. Production increases as diversity increases.

Two key points:

     1. In the wet season we are managing forage for maximum drawdown by maintaining height and maturity that allows for the greatest photosynthetic potential.

This is tender forage in optimum growth cycle. Each grazing event starts the process over again.

Which is the injection of carbon and nitrogen, activating soil biology, and increasing soil organic matter.

Greater absorption and retention of moisture is possible.

We are able to extend our growing season as soil fertility increases.

     2. In the dry season as forage becomes dry and loses its nutritional value cattle and other foragers

begin to search for seeds.

Through diversity at any given time there will be new feed potential from a vast array of trees producing seeds.

An important food source is being supplied naturally at a critical time.

We are able to bridge the gap between seasons by increasing forest coverage.

Regenerative practices with managed intensive grazing increase the quality and time of drawdown and supercharges photosynthesis.

With each growing season a singular event becomes continual.

We hope to explain how this is a relatively simple task in a difficult region.


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