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Fact Sheets

December 2010

Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Voluntary Carbon Data Project


FSA’s Voluntary Carbon Data Project will provide interested farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners with an estimate of the amount of carbon that their eligible tree planting practices are expected to sequester through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract term and beyond. For the project, FSA will develop a communications tool to facilitate information exchange of carbon sequestration needs and opportunities among interested parties. Carbon estimates will be provided for informational purposes only.

Eligible Practices

Eligible CRP tree planting practices will include:

CP22 Riparian Buffer

CP23 Wetland Restoration

CP31 Bottomland Timber Establishment on Wetlands

CP36 Longleaf Pine Establishment

No additional incentives are authorized under this project.

Additional Practice Background

Tree planting practices yield the highest sequestration rate, making them a better subject for evaluating the effectiveness of tools and protocols. Currently, all CRP practices taken together sequester about 47 million metric tons of carbon per year. Although tree planting practices make up only 11 percent of total CRP acreage, they account for 36 percent of the sequestered carbon.

Carbon Sequestration Estimation

USDA Forest Service’s Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) will be used to calculate an estimate of carbon sequestration based on practice specifications, anticipated management and prescriptions specific to the geographic area.

Communications Tool

The proposed communications tool, CarbonNet, is expected to function in a manner similar to the popular HayNet website. On HayNet, both farmers and ranchers who have hay to sell and those who need hay as potential purchasers may post advertisements.

Project Availability

The project will focus on Arkansas, Georgia, and Minnesota, areas with a history of significant tree planting, USDA hopes to obtain better representative samples for evaluation and comparison. The Voluntary Carbon Data Project is anticipated in early 2011. Once availability has been announced, interested farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners should contact their local FSA office to find out how to participate.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of Discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.




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