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Quantifying Environmental Services

USDA, in collaboration with partners, has developed tools to help land managers quantify the environmental benefits of conservation practices. In some cases, these tools are being used to estimate the number of credits a landowner can sell through environmental markets. To learn more about tools used to quantify water quality and carbon benefits, explore the resources below.

Water Quality: the Nutrient Tracking Tool (NTT)
The Nutrient Tracking Tool (NTT), developed in partnership with Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research (TIAER) at Tarleton State University, can be used to estimate nutrient and sediment losses from crop and pasture. NTT is being used in several water quality trading programs to estimate water quality benefits.

COMET-Farm, developed in partnership with Colorado State University, is a whole farm and ranch carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system. COMET-Farm guides users through farm and ranch management practices to estimate carbon changes and greenhouse gas emissions.

COMET-Planner is designed to provide generalized estimates of the greenhouse gas impacts of conservation practices for planning purposes. Use COMET-Farm for more detailed analysis.

Ecosystem Services: EnviroAtlas
EnviroAtlas provides geospatial data, easy-to-use tools, and other resources related to ecosystem services, their stressors, and human health.