The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering new tools to gauge progress in building drought-resistant, healthy soil.
A report released July 31 provides uniform scientific methods for quantifying the changes in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide storage from various land management and conservation activities.
USDA says the report, Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory, will help it evaluate greenhouse gas (GHG) conservation programs, develop new tools and update existing tools to help U.S. landowners participate in emerging carbon markets.
“America’s farm, ranch and forest managers are stewards of the land, and have long recognized the significance of managing soil health, plant productivity and animal nutrition,” Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Robert Bonnie said. “Conservation practices and other management changes can reduce GHG emissions and increase carbon storage while improving soil health, productivity, and resilience to drought and other extreme weather.”
The report outlines science-based methods for quantifying changes in greenhouse gas emissions and carbon storage at the local farm, ranch or forest operation. Those methods will provide tools to build healthy, carbon-rich soils and more resilient production of food, fiber and fuel.
The report, available on the USDA website, is the work of 38 experts in the cropland, grazing land, livestock and forest-management sectors across academia and government. It was reviewed by another 29 scientists, federal experts and the public.
It is another example of the Obama administration’s multifaceted approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation.