Vetiver Grass and Atmospheric Carbon Sequestration
Vetiver grass can produce large quantities of biomass both in the root, leaves and stem. The amount is extremely variable depending on location, soil, type of application, and climate. A number of research papers suggest that vetiver may create 20-30 tons SOC/ha/year.
More research is required to determine more accurately the Vetiver SOC story. Currently TVNI is reviewing the available research. In a shortly to be published paper from China it is estimated that from 1988 to 2020, 23,000 ha equivalents (roughly 230, 000 linear meters of vetiver hedgerow) has been planted, sequestering 1.6 million tons of carbon or 70 tons/ha or over 32 years – an average of about 2 tons carbon/ha year (equivalent to 0.2 kg/plant/year). Thus the CAVEAT about variation and interpretation of data! One of the problems in comparing data is the non-standardized research methodology which makes comparison difficult and often contradictory.
What we do know is that vetiver produces a lot of biomass (up to 100 tons total DM/ha/year) and can produce these yields within a couple of years. What we have accurate information on how much of this is stored in the soil and how much carbon is recycled to the atmosphere.