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The U.S. agriculture and forestry sectors can play an important role in limiting the build-up of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. Conservation and land management practices can reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide associated with crop and livestock production; increase the quantity of carbon stored in soils and above ground vegetation; and generate renewable fuels that recycle carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

USDA’s Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory

CCPO works with USDA researchers and analysts from EPA and the Department of Energy to improve our ability to inventory and estimate GHG emissions and carbon sequestration from the local to national scales. Periodically, USDA produces an updated inventory of GHG emissions and carbon storage for the agriculture and forestry sectors.  These reports are consistent with the annual emissions reporting done by EPA, but provide an enhanced view of the data regionally and by land use.

Greenhouse Gas Estimation

USDA is working on tools and methods that will assist farmers, ranchers and forest land managers in assessing their GHG footprint. These tools and methods will be useful for understanding the GHG impact of various management options.

Mitigation Technologies

Many land and animal management technologies and practices can help reduce GHG emissions.  USDA provides information to help land managers assess which mitigation technologies and practices might be appropriate to their operation.