USDA’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Assessment Program, managed by OCE, maintains state-of-the-science metrics of greenhouse gas sources and sinks from lands and links these metrics to Department-wide efforts to mitigate climate change.
The Program works closely with agencies across the Department and other Federal agencies to improve data collection. These data are used to monitor and track those carbon sequestration and emissions trends through the Program, ensuring that the latest climate-smart agriculture and forestry practices are included in greenhouse gas estimates.
The Program provides timely reports and analyses to establish methodologies and support decision-making, including analyzing and forecasting greenhouse gas emissions from the land sectors and assessing the mitigation potential of actions.
USDA supports a variety of efforts and tools to quantify GHG emissions from agriculture and forestry, and the potential for GHG mitigation through conservation practices and carbon sequestration. USDA regularly releases an inventory of agriculture and forestry emissions and also supports the EPA’s annual GHG inventory.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invites public comment on the 2023 update to Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity‐Scale Inventory, Technical Bulletin Number 1939, Office of the Chief Economist, USDA, Washington, DC. Comments received under this notice will be used to further refine the update to this report in preparation for publication as a USDA Technical Bulletin. Comments submitted will help USDA to ensure the new and updated quantification methods reflect the state of the science.
Interested parties should visit https://www.regulations.gov/docket/USDA-2023-0007 to access the updated report and to provide feedback.
- Marginal Abatement Cost Curves for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation on U.S. Farms and Ranches (PDF, 3.7 MB)
This work provides estimates of the costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation that would occur on working U.S. farms and ranches for specific suites of technologies and practices. Understanding the costs and greenhouse gas benefits is important in helping U.S. farmers create new and expand existing market opportunities for agricultural commodities produced with “climate-smart” farming practices. This report provides a valuable update to past studies our office commissioned in 2013 and 2016. First, we have expanded the set of practices to include biochar amendments, alternate wetting-and-drying during rice production, cover crops, feed management strategies, enhanced efficiency fertilizers, and prescribed grazing. Second, we have updated cost and greenhouse gas reduction estimates for several practices included in past studies, like conservation tillage and manure management, based on more recent data.
- U.S. Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Inventory: 1990-2018 (PDF, 17.6 MB)
USDA’s greenhouse gas inventory (this edition published in 2022) contains information on GHG emissions and sinks in agriculture and forestry for the years 1990 to 2018 at the state and regional scales.
- Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory
This USDA report recommends methods to estimate changes in GHG emissions and carbon storage at the entity-scale for croplands, grasslands, livestock, forestry, wetlands, and land use change.
- NEW -- Request for Public Comment on 2023 Update to USDA’s Farm- and Forest-Scale GHG Quantification Methods
NEW -- Federal Strategy for Advancing Greenhouse Gas Monitoring and Measurement for the Agriculture and Forestry Sectors (PDF, 813 KB)
This report outlines a draft framework for measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals for the agriculture and forest sectors, as part of a larger Federal strategy to advance an integrated U.S. GHG monitoring & information system. USDA has issued a request for public comment on behalf of the Administration. View the request for comment.
- Managing Agricultural Land for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation within the United States
This ICF report from 2016 presents an analysis of the GHG mitigation potential associated with changes in U.S. agricultural management practices as well as Marginal Abatement Cost Curves for each practice.
- USDA Integrated Projections for Agriculture and Forest Sector Land Use, Land-Use Change, and GHG Emissions and Removals: 2015 to 2060
This USDA report from 2016 outlines projections for agriculture, forestry, and land use emissions for 2015 to 2060.
- Climate Change and the Land Sector: Improving Measurement, Mitigation and Resilience of our Natural Resources
This inter-agency report from 2015 details planning improvements in GHG inventories, emissions projections, and mitigation activities in the land sector.
- Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Options and Costs for Agricultural Land and Animal Production within the United States
The purpose of this 2013 report is to identify and describe specific technologies and practices that farmers could adopt in their crop and livestock production systems and in their land management decisions that would result in net greenhouse gas mitigation.
Tools and Methods
COMET-Farm is an interactive online tool to estimate whole-farm, ranch, and forestry emissions and mitigation options.
- Forest Management for Carbon Benefits
This module of the Climate Change Resource Center provides resources, including topic overviews, tools, videos and short-courses, on carbon management in forests and grasslands.