USDA Launches First Phase of Soil Carbon Monitoring Through CRP

USAgNet - 10/13/2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $10 million in a new initiative to sample, measure, and monitor soil carbon on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres to better quantify the climate outcomes of the program. CRP is an important tool in the Nation's fight to reduce the worst impacts of climate change facing our farmers, ranchers, and foresters.

This initiative will begin implementation in fall 2021 with three partners. Today's announcement is part of a broader, long-term soil carbon monitoring effort across agricultural lands that supports USDA's commitment to deliver climate solutions to agricultural producers and rural America through voluntary, incentive-based solutions.

"These CRP Climate Change Mitigation Assessment Initiative projects will? urvey, sample and measure the climate benefits of land enrolled in CRP conservation?practice types over time," said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). "This data will help USDA better target CRP practices to achieve continued climate wins across environmentally sensitive lands while strengthening our modeling and conservation planning resources for all producers."

These models include the Daily Century Model, or DayCent, which simulates the movement of carbon and nitrogen through agricultural systems and informs the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Data will also be used to strengthen the COMET-Farm and COMET-Planner tools, which enable producers to evaluate potential carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reductions based on specific management scenarios.


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