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USDA to Invest $8 Million to Expand Monitoring of Soil Carbon
USAgNet - 09/28/2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to invest $8 million to support and expand monitoring of carbon in soil on working agricultural lands as well as assess how climate-smart practices are affecting carbon sequestration. This is part of the agency's efforts to build out a national soil carbon monitoring network, which was kicked off with soil carbon monitoring on Conservation Reserve Program acres in 2021.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is requesting proposals for regional projects focused on soil organic carbon stock monitoring, which are due Nov. 28, 2022. This investment in building out the soil carbon monitoring network is part of USDA comprehensive effort to address climate change through climate-smart agriculture and forestry.

"Healthy soils are a powerful tool when it comes to sequestering carbon. We want to enhance our measurement tools and integrate them into program delivery to advance quantification efforts of the effects that climate-smart agricultural practices have on carbon sequestration,” NRCS Chief Terry Cosby said. “Soil health management practices and activities are a tremendous part of our strategy when it comes to climate-smart agriculture and forestry.”

NRCS will fund four agreements, one in each region: Northeast, Southeast, Central and West. Funding ranges from $1.5 to $2 million, and projects will last two to four years. Applications must include a strategy to reach equity of program delivery in historically underserved communities. Partners will work collaboratively to complement soil carbon monitoring efforts taking place across USDA.

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