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Video Presentation -- "From Field to Feeder"

S.A.V.E.Ô Birdseed Is:

GROWN IN NEW JERSEY BY LOCAL FARMERS. Most black-oil sunflower seed is produced in the Upper Midwest and must be trucked over 1500 miles to New Jersey shelves. It offers the consumer no connection to the land, and no knowledge of its origin - where it came from, who grew it, or how it got onto the shelf. S.A.V.E.Ô birdseed is different. Our farmers operate small, family farms and live in our communities. S.A.V.E.Ô birdseed tells a story about real farmers, conservation, and, of course, BIRDS! 

DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO HABITAT RESTORATION. For every 5 acres planted to sunflowers, the partners are establishing 1 acre of grassland habitat for rare nesting birds such as Grasshopper Sparrow and Bobolink.  

GROWN WITH A REDUCED CARBON FOOTPRINT. Grown locally, S.A.V.E.Ô birdseed eliminates the need for extensive use of fossil fuels in transit. In addition, the project partners are using an experimental cultivation technique that may capture atmospheric carbon and lock it into the soil (see below).

Combating Climate Change alongside Farming and Wildlife Preservation

Reducing carbon emissions by reducing trucking needs is the easy part of reducing the carbon footprint of S.A.V.E.Ô birdseed. We have gone beyond that to collaborate with partners on carbon sequestration research centered on our birdseed crop. With support from the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, we are working with the Carbon Char Group, LLC and the USDA Agricultural Research Service to experiment with the use of a carbon-based soil amendment (biochar) to sequester carbon in the soil.

The beneficial microorganisms that enrich and enhance soil productivity are degraded and destroyed by modern agricultural practices.  Ultimately, this leads to reductions in crop performance, nutrition, and productivity that must be offset with increased fertilizer use. Although experiments with biochar are occurring elsewhere, those on the S.A.V.E.Ô sunflower crop will differ notably because they combine charcoal with beneficial soil microorganisms (BIOCHAR+). Thus, use of a soil amendment like BIOCHAR+ can improve crop productivity by enhancing the soil's organic layer while helping growers reduce costs.

Even more exciting is biochar's potential to take atmospheric carbon and virtually lock it into the soil for decades if not centuries. Charcoal, the primary component of biochar, provides a way to concentrate nearly pure carbon in a package that decomposes very slowly. Thus use of biochar could become a valuable weapon against one of the greatest, global environmental challenges that we have ever faced, an increasing atmospheric carbon level and its catastrophic consequence - global warming.
 

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