The US Department of Agriculture will invest $300 million in studying agriculture’s impact on climate change.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will invest $300 million to improve the measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration in climate-smart agriculture and forestry. The new investments will advance priorities set by the broader Federal Strategy to Advance Greenhouse Gas Measurement and Monitoring for the Agriculture and Forest Sectors which was also released as a draft for public input and outlines a strategic framework and priority actions for improving accuracy and reducing uncertainty in greenhouse gas estimates.
To carry out these tasks, USDA has identified seven key focus areas that reflect the framework outlined by the federal strategy and are based on substantial input from stakeholders:
- Establish and advance a Soil Carbon Monitoring and Research Network with a perennial biomass component;
- Establish and advance a Greenhouse Gas Research Network;
- Expand data management, infrastructure and capacity;
- Improve models and tools for assessing greenhouse gas outcomes at operational, state, regional, and national scales;
- Improve NRCS conservation practice standards and implementation data to reflect greenhouse gas mitigation opportunities;
- Improve temporal and spatial coverage of national conservation activity data; and
- Strengthen the Greenhouse Gas Inventory and Assessment Program of USDA.
See fact sheet for additional details.
USDA is continuing to engage stakeholders and technical experts to help inform this effort. Those interested in learning more about the effort are encouraged to register for a webinar that USDA is holding at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on July 21, 2023.
Additionally, USDA is currently seeking comment on the draft Federal Strategy. The report and Request for Information are available here: www.regulations.gov/docket/USDA-2023-0009. The strategy was prepared by USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and others on behalf of the Greenhouse Gas Monitoring and Measurement Interagency Working Group. The draft Federal Strategy presents a federal plan to enhance measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification in agriculture and forestry through five areas. These include improved greenhouse gas and soil carbon monitoring, alignment and enhancement of related research, utilization of advanced models and tools for better estimations, and prompt and accurate collection of conservation data including through better use of remote sensing data.