February 18, 2011
On February 18, 2011 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a notice in the Federal Register, seeking public comments on the development of tools and guidance for estimating greenhouse gases (GHG).
The project, an effort to provide user friendly tools and guidance to farmers, ranchers and forest land owners interested in assessing the footprint of their operations, will bring together scientific experts across USDA, other federal agencies, and research institutes. These scientific experts are expected to develop consistent metrics to estimate changes in GHG emissions and carbon sequestration. The resulting guidance and tools will also be used by USDA to assess the ecosystem services benefits of current and future conservation programs and initiatives.
According to USDA’s notice “the goal is that the new tools will provide a comprehensive, transparent approach to calculating changes in GHG emissions across all management activities within a farm, ranch or forest operation. The guidance will include ways to estimate the GHG benefit of new technologies, such as methane digesters and nitrification inhibitors (which help fertilizer stay within the root zone).”
Responses to this notice must be submitted electronically by April 19, 2011 through the regulations.gov portal at http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
USDA’s News Release can be found online here.
USDA’s carbon calculator tool can be accessed here.