The U.S. agriculture and forestry sectors can play an important role in limiting the build-up of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere. Conservation and land management practices can reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide associated with crop and livestock production; increase the quantity of carbon stored in soils and above ground vegetation; and generate renewable fuels that recycle carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
This report assesses potential impacts on forest landscape carbon levels that would accompany hypothetical changes in the generation of electricity using forest biomass at the state level. Five states (Minnesota, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington) are considered separately with each being the focus of a separate chapter. Each state chapter provides: 1) an overview of the State’s energy sector, forestry sector, and forest products markets; 2) a discussion of the model, assumptions, inputs, and scenarios used in the empirical analysis; and 3) a discussion of the scenario results and their implications. The report was produced under Cooperative Agreement 58-0111-609 by cooperators at the University of Idaho, North Carolina State University, Oregon Department of Forestry, and State University of New York.
USDA Factsheet: Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Corn-Based Ethanol
This report presents an analysis of corn-ethanol’s GHG balance. The report finds that the GHG emissions associated with corn-based ethanol in the United States are, on average, 39 percent lower than gasoline when measured on an energy equivalent basis.
The Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry are USDA’s framework for helping farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners respond to climate change. The effort relies on voluntary, incentive-based conservation, forestry, and energy programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and expand renewable energy production in the agricultural and forestry sectors.
This Progress Report on Climate Change and the Land Sector highlights how the USDA is working to improve measurements of land sector emissions while also designing innovative programs that enhance climate mitigation and resilience in this sector. Through these sustained actions we are protecting our natural resources and the communities that rely on them.
CCPO works with USDA researchers and analysts from EPA and the Department of Energy to improve our ability to inventory and estimate GHG emissions and carbon sequestration from the local to national scales. Periodically, USDA produces an updated inventory of GHG emissions and carbon storage for the agriculture and forestry sectors. These reports are consistent with the annual emissions reporting done by EPA, but provide an enhanced view of the data regionally and by land use.
USDA is working on tools and methods that will assist farmers, ranchers and forest land managers in assessing their GHG footprint. These tools and methods will be useful for understanding the GHG impact of various management options.
Many land and animal management technologies and practices can help reduce GHG emissions. USDA provides information to help land managers assess which mitigation technologies and practices might be appropriate to their operation.