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PRACTICES

The impact of a select practice will have a different impact based on the specifics of your land. Learn more about the practices that are currently recognized by ag carbon programs by clicking on them.

Definition:  Grasses, legumes, and forbs planted for seasonal vegetative cover.

Carbon Impact: Increased carbon inputs from crop residues on soil carbon stocks.

Co-benefits:

  • Reduce erosion from wind and water
  • Maintain or increase soil health and organic matter content
  • Reduce water quality degradation by utilizing excessive soil nutrients
  • Suppress excessive weed pressures and break pest cycles
  • Improve soil moisture use efficiency
  • Minimize soil compaction

Relevant Programs:

  • Agoro
  • Bayer
  • CarbonNOW
  • Cargill
  • CIBO
  • Corteva
  • ESMC
  • FarmersEdge
  • Gradable
  • Indigo
  • Nori
  • Rabobank
  • Soil and Water Outcomes Fund
  • TruTerra

Definition:  Planting soy into a standing cover crop and harvesting the cover crop seed

Carbon Impact: Provides continuous cover and reduced tillage in the planting of the soy crop leading to carbon sequestration

Co-benefits:

  • Allows for on-farm production of cover crop seed
  • Reduces need for terminating the cover crop with herbicides
  • Provides continuous cover and trafficability for planting soy in the spring
  • Growing cover crop continues to remove soil water to reduce the chance of saturated soils impacting soy growth
  • On-farm trials have shown no impact on soy yields

Relevant Programs:

  • Agoro
  • Bayer
  • CarbonNOW
  • Cargill
  • CIBO
  • Corteva
  • ESMC
  • FarmersEdge
  • Gradable
  • Indigo
  • Nori
  • Rabobank
  • Soil and Water Outcomes Fund
  • TruTerra

Definition: Managing the amount (rate), source, placement (method of application), and timing of plant nutrients and soil amendments

Carbon Impact: Emission changes result from reduced use of nitrogen fertilizers, and soil processes that may be affected by adding nitrification inhibitors and a shift in application timing

Co-benefits:

  • To budget, supply, and conserve nutrients for plant production
  • To minimize agricultural nonpoint source pollution of surface and groundwater resources
  • To properly utilize manure or organic by-products as a plant nutrient source
  • To maintain or improve the physical, chemical, and biological condition of soil

Relevant Programs:

  • Agoro
  • CarbonNOW
  • CIBO
  • Corteva
  • ESMC
  • Farmers Edge
  • Gradable
  • Indigo
  • Nutrien
  • Soil and Water Outcomes Fund

Definition: Managing the amount, orientation and distribution of crop and other plant residue on the soil surface year-round while limiting the soil-disturbing activities used to grow and harvest crops in systems where the field surface is tilled prior to planting

Carbon Impact: Impacts on greenhouse gases include soil carbon change from decreased soil disturbance and nitrous oxide emissions from changes in the soil environment (does not include changes in nitrogen fertilizer that may accompany tillage changes)

Co-benefits:

  • Reduce sheet, rill and wind erosion
  • Maintain or increase soil quality and organic matter content
  • Reduce energy use
  • Increase plant-available moisture

Relevant Programs:

  • Agoro
  • Bayer
  • CarbonNOW
  • Cargill
  • CIBO
  • Corteva
  • ESMC
  • FarmersEdge
  • Gradable
  • Indigo
  • Nori
  • Nutrien
  • Rabobank
  • Soil and Water Outcomes Fund
  • TruTerra

Definition:  Managing the harvest of vegetation with grazing and/or browsing animals.

Carbon Impact: Grazing livestock on crop stubbles and cover crops or forage crops helps stimulate root systems, fertilize with manure, and produce healthy bacteria that reduce methane and improve soil conditions

Co-benefits:

  • Improve or maintain desired species composition and vigor of plant communities
  • Improve or maintain quantity and quality of forage for grazing and browsing animals’ health and productivity
  • Improve or maintain surface and/or subsurface water quality and quantity
  • Improve or maintain riparian and watershed function
  • Reduce accelerated soil erosion, and maintain or improve soil condition
  • Improve or maintain the quantity and quality of food and/or cover available for wildlife
  • Manage fine fuel loads to achieve desired conditions

Relevant Programs:

  • ESMC
  • Grassroots Carbon
  • Indigo
  • Rabobank

Definition:  The anaerobic decomposition of manure and other organic materials found on livestock operations to repurpose into biogas and other carbon-capture by-products

Carbon Impact: Manure can be a potential source of methane and nitrous oxide from collection and storage facilities. Methane digesters in manure handling reduce the direct emissions from storage and provide an opportunity to capture and utilize the methane as a potential fuel source. However, the value of manure in cropping systems may be in the utilization of manure as a component of the soil health change by increasing soil organic carbon which in turn leads to more efficient crop growth and removal of more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and potentially stored in the soil. The carbon contained in the manure along with the nutrients enhance soil health and increase the potential for carbon storage within the soil profile.

Co-benefits:

  • Soil health

Relevant Programs:

  • Agoro
  • CarbonNOW
  • CIBO
  • Corteva
  • ESMC
  • Farmers Edge
  • Gradable
  • Indigo
  • Nutrien
  • Soil and Water Outcomes Fund

Definition: Limiting soil disturbance to manage the amount, orientation and distribution of crop and plant residue on the soil surface year around

Carbon Impact: Impacts on greenhouse gases include soil carbon change from decreased soil disturbance and nitrous oxide emissions from changes in the soil environment (does not include changes in nitrogen fertilizer that may accompany tillage changes)

Co-benefits:

  • Reduce sheet, rill and wind erosion
  • Maintain or increase soil quality and organic matter content
  • Increase plant-available moisture
  • Provide food and escape cover for wildlife

Relevant Programs:

  • Agoro
  • Bayer
  • CarbonNOW
  • Cargill
  • CIBO
  • Corteva
  • ESMC
  • FarmersEdge
  • Gradable
  • Indigo
  • Nori
  • Nutrien
  • Rabobank
  • Soil and Water Outcomes Fund
  • TruTerra

Definition: Establishing and maintaining permanent vegetative cover

Carbon Impact: Impacts on greenhouse gases include changes in soil organic matter carbon due to cessation of tillage and increases in carbon inputs from plant residues, and decreased nitrous oxide emissions from synthetic fertilizer

Co-benefits:

  • Reduce soil erosion and sedimentation
  • Improve water quality
  • Improve air quality
  • Enhance wildlife habitat and pollinator habitat.
  • Improve soil quality
  • Manage plant pests

Relevant Programs:

  • Agoro
  • Bayer
  • CarbonNOW
  • Cargill
  • CIBO
  • Corteva
  • ESMC
  • FarmersEdge
  • Gradable
  • Indigo
  • Nori
  • Rabobank
  • Soil and Water Outcomes Fund
  • TruTerra

RESOURCES

These resources can help you understand the potential carbon impact of applying practices to your land

COMET Planner is an evaluation tool for farmers that provides general estimates of the GHG and/or carbon sequestration impact of various practices

FUNCTIONALITY CONSIDERATIONS MORE INFORMATION
The tool is searchable by
  1. county
  2. practice
 
The tool delivers helpful metrics on GHG emissions including
  1. Carbon Dioxide
  2. Nitrous Oxide
  3. Methane
  4. Total CO2 Equivalent
COMET Planner does not reflect specific crops or a wide range of multiple practices. However, geographies represent the most common crop rotations. 
 
Data is displayed per region to account for regional differences in soil type, climate, crops, etc.
 
 
 
 

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COMET Farm is a whole farm and ranch carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system.

COMET Farm differs from COMET Planner in that it allows for selection of inputs of the field locations, history, practices, inputs, and management for the last 20 years

Visit COMET Farm

Learn how to use COMET Farm

All practice information was sourced from COMET-Planner