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Ag Official: Farmland in Conservation Program Can Serve as Carbon Sink

farmland2The Conservation Reserve could be one of the largest carbon sequestration programs on private U.S. land, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said during a U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture subcommittee hearing on the benefits of soil erosion-reduction programs.

“Land enrolled in the (Conservation) Reserve will also reduce soil erosion by 400 million tons each year and has the potential to be one of the nation’s largest carbon sequestration programs on private lands,” said Robert Stephenson, acting deputy administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency, according to Reuters.

More than 33 million acres are enrolled in the Conservation Reserve, under which farm owners agree to let land set idle for at least 10 years.

The Voluntary Carbon Standard recently launched at the London Stock Exchange allows agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) projects to generate carbon credits that are interchangeable with other carbon credits generated by non-AFOLU activities such as energy and industrial projects.

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