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USDA Program Aims to Help Agricultural Producers Cut Emissions

Agricultural producers can reduce net emissions and enhance carbon sequestration by more than 120 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year — about 2 percent of economy-wide net greenhouse emissions — by 2025 by participating in a US Department of Agriculture initiative that aims to address climate change.

Building on the creation of the USDA’s Climate Hubs last year, the new initiatives will utilize voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors.

The framework announced today consists of 10 “building blocks” that span a range of technologies and practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon storage and generate clean renewable energy. They are: soil health, nitrogen stewardship, livestock partnerships, conservation of sensitive lands, grazing and pasture lands, private forest growth and retention, stewardship of federal forests, promotion of wood products, urban forests and energy generation and efficiency.

Through this initiative, the USDA will use authorities provided in the 2014 Farm Bill to offer incentives and technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners.

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