You are here

Mitigation Opportunities

Mitigation Opportunities in the Agricultural Sector

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.

1. Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Options and Costs for Agricultural Land and Animal Production within the United States

U.S. agriculture consists of more than 2 million farms that collectively manage more than 922 million acres of cropland, grassland pasture, and range. These farms exhibit immense diversity across a wide array of economic, production, socio-demographic, geographic, and environmental characteristics. This diversity can and will affect where and when farms choose to adopt specific technologies and practices that mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The primary purpose of this report is to identify and describe specific technologies and practices that farmers could adopt in their crop and livestock production systems and in their land management decisions that would result in net greenhouse gas mitigation. For each technology or practice considered the report contains:

  1. A detailed technical description of the technology or practice;
  2. Estimates of farm-level costs for implementing the technology or practice for a set of
    “representative” farms;
  3. Estimates of the farm-level GHG mitigation potential associated with adoption; and
  4. Estimates of the GHG incentive levels that various representative farms would require to consider adoption of the technology or practice a break-even undertaking (called the break-even price).

While the focus is on technologies and practices that have readily available data on farm-level cost and GHG reduction potential, the report also contains qualitative descriptions of a number of potential GHG mitigation technologies and practices for which insufficient data exists to estimate break-even prices.

2. Managing Agricultural Land for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation within the United States.

This report presents an analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation potential associated with changes in U.S. agricultural management practices. Marginal abatement cost curves (MACCs) are developed that illustrate how much GHG mitigation various sets of U.S. crop and livestock producers could supply across a schedule of mitigation incentives. Separate MACCs focus on incentivizing specific changes in technologies and practices in animal production systems, cropland systems, land management, and rangeland and pastureland management.