USDA is soliciting comments on how to best design methods for measuring greenhouse gas sources and sinks in the agriculture and forestry sectors [ notice published Feb. 18, 2011 in the Federal Register. The USDA notice on methodologies for quantifying greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration from agriculture and forestry is available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-02-18/pdf/2011-3667.pdf.]The guidelines are intended to be clear enough that they can easily be used by farmers looking to reduce their GHG emissions, and will incorporate elements of existing methods and guidelines. USDA expects to complete the project within three years. Carbon sinks are natural systems that suck up and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The guidelines being developed by USDA will be used within USDA and by farmers, ranchers, and forest land owners and will be made publicly available. To ensure the project deliverables are of benefit to the widest possible set of stakeholders, the process of developing the guidelines, methods, and reporting tools will emphasize scientific rigor, transparency, internal consistency, and reducing uncertainty. The notice emphasized USDA is seeking comments on how it may “best improve upon existing GHG estimation guidelines for the agriculture and forestry sectors, while at the same time simplifying the input requirements and enhancing the ease of use for individuals and entities. The guidelines will seek to offer emissions calculation methodologies, emissions reduction techniques, and ways to increase carbon sequestration for a wide range of agricultural activities including soil management.
This should be helpful to cotton farmers to have a way approved by a government body to show how much reduction in GHGs they are getting on their farm.