Making the Case for CLC

Find here communication tools for your own outreach about making the case for continuous living cover agriculture – case studies, reports, analyses, infographics, lit references, media contacts, and more below. Come back often because we are always adding new materials!

CLC champion spotlights from the paper Our Journey to a Transformed Agriculture through Continuous Living Cover

Outcomes of CLC - Climate, Environmental & Social Resilience

Social Return on Investment (SROI) of Perennial Forage & CLC - Ecotone

GLBW endeavors to develop distinct and effective tools for our network partners to Make the Case for CLC in their work and to their funders. GLBW engaged Ecotone Analytics to begin to develop return on investment tools as a different way to characterize Continuous Living Cover and communicate its benefits.

In the project documentation, Ecotone identifies that the need for CLC adoption and the mission and purpose of GLBW make it a potentially highly valuable vessel for raising and funneling funding and investment for network partner projects.

Ecotone Analytics is an impact accounting organization that does benefit-cost analysis for clients’ social and environmental impacts. Combining evidence-based research analysis and monetization of impact outcomes, Ecotone derives a social return on investment ratio. Social Return on Investment (SROI) is an adaptation of the financial ROI metric. It is used to measure social, environmental, and economic gains (also referred to as returns) as a result of an investment.

With GLBW and many GLBW partners (huge thanks for your input!), Ecotone Analytics conducted an impact analysis and calculated an SROI focusing on the Perennial Forage and Grazing (PFG) strategy of CLC. The analysis takes a benefit-cost approach to external literature of the highest available level of evidence of causality to estimate the total social, environmental and economic value generated by PFG. The prospective valuation approach used compares the estimated outcomes achieved by PFG against the environmental impacts of annual row crops in the Upper Midwest.

Following their research and analysis, Ecotone projects that the SROI achieved by the PFG strategy will be approximately $3.38. For every $1 dollar in investment made in supporting the establishment of a perennial pasture and grazing system on farms with livestock, a projected $3.38 in social and environmental value will be generated, with benefits flowing to farms, taxpayers, community members, municipal water users, and the broader global society. The largest outcome monetized was the projected reduced costs of eutrophication due to avoided nutrient runoff, followed by the financial returns accruing to the farm.

 Photo by Susie Theis Photo by Susie Theis

Two financial hurdles that INVESTORS CAN HELP OVERCOME are upfront investment costs and opportunity costs for the farmer, in return fostering larger environmental services as well as potentially supporting financial well-being on the farm. Investing in Perennial Forage and CLC benefits the farmer and their communities and extends to the environment and society at large.

The impact value map and overview brochure shows the estimated cost per acre for pasture and grazing system establishment and the projected benefits per acre per year from adopting perennial forage and grazing strategies, in comparison to conventional practices.
Elements of the Impact Overview Brochure are provided below as individual graphic files for your use.
Find below supplemental materials about the analysis, providing technical information and user and communications guidance.

Source Water Protection with Kernza®


Match Made in Heaven: Livestock + Crops

Infographic: Match Made in Heaven: Livestock + Crops

PDF Web Version 

PDF Print Version 



Benefits of Investing in Perennial Forage & CLC

Infographic: Journey Map of Investing in Perennial Forage & CLC

PDF Web Version 

PDF Print Version 



Perennial Forage for Infrastructure Protection infographic

Perennial Forage for Infrastructure Protection infographicInfographic: Perennial Forage for Infrastructure Protection

PDF Web Version (8.4 Mb)

PDF Print Version (13.4 Mb)

For more information on these topics, visit our Midwest Perennial Forage Working Group page.