USDA Improves Online Carbon Management Tool

Cindy ZimmermanConservation, USDA

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently released an enhanced and expanded online tool that helps producers estimate carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions associated with a variety of on-farm management practices.

NRCS Chief Dave White says COMET-VR 2.0 is a very user-friendly tool for farmers and ranchers. “Once producers have a better sense of their carbon footprint, they can choose to make changes within their operations that will enhance the environment for their families as well as their local communities,” said White.

COMET-VR 2.0 was developed in collaboration with Colorado State University (CSU) and is housed on the CSU Web site. Like the first version, COMET-VR, Version 2.0 is connected to state-of-the-art models that help farmers and ranchers evaluate on-farm greenhouse gas emissions and sequestration options associated with the implementation of conservation practices for cropland, pasture, rangeland, orchards and agroforestry. In addition, it includes estimates for biomass and soil carbon stock changes, and carbon dioxide emissions from on-farm energy use.

The new and improved version of COMET-VR expands the evaluation of greenhouse gases beyond carbon dioxide by estimating reductions in nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural practices that improve the efficiency of fertilizer and manure applications. In addition, COMET-VR 2.0 is compatible with national and international standards including the Environmental Protection Agency’s U.S. greenhouse gas annual inventory that documents greenhouse gas emissions nationwide.

Read more here.