USDA releases updated GHG methods report

USAgNet - 04/03/2024

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released the second edition of its report on quantifying greenhouse gas fluxes in agriculture and forestry. This update provides farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners with enhanced tools to evaluate their operations' carbon footprint.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack emphasizes the significance of these updated methods in promoting climate-smart agriculture and fostering confidence in environmental stewardship practices. The report, a result of years of collaborative effort, aims to guide conservation efforts and improve greenhouse gas estimation on U.S. farms.

Section 2709 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 mandated USDA to establish science-based guidelines for measuring environmental service benefits from conservation and land management activities. These guidelines serve as the foundation for COMET-Farm, an online carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system assisting farmers in creating farm-scale inventories and exploring management scenarios to reduce emissions.

The 2024 update reflects the latest scientific research and input from a diverse group of experts, ensuring its accuracy and relevance. The report and associated tools will aid farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners in quantifying the greenhouse gas benefits of management changes, supporting USDA's conservation programs and initiatives.

The comprehensive review process, including input from scientists, federal agencies, and the public, ensures the report meets high standards for scientific assessment. Its designation as a highly influential scientific assessment highlights its importance in guiding policy and practice in agriculture and forestry.


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