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GHG and Carbon Sequestration Ranking Tool

NRCS Practice Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction and Carbon Sequestration

Qualitative Ranking
N = Neutral
Practice
Code
Practice Standard and Associated Information Sheet Beneficial Attributes
GHG Ranking 1 327 Conservation Cover
(Information Sheet)
Establishing perennial vegetation on land retired from agriculture production increases soil carbon and increases biomass carbon stocks.
329 Residue and Tillage Management,
No-Till/Strip-Till/Direct Seed
Limiting soil-disturbing activities improves soil carbon retention and minimizes carbon emissions from soils.
366 Anaerobic Digester Biogas capture reduces CH4 emissions to the atmosphere and provides a viable gas stream that is used for electricity generation or as a natural gas energy stream.
367 Roofs and Covers Capture of biogas from waste management facilities reduces CH4 emissions to the atmosphere and captures biogas for energy production. CH4 management reduces direct greenhouse gas emissions.
372 Combustion System Improvement Energy efficiency improvements reduce on-farm fossil fuel consumption and directly reduce CO2 emissions.
379 Multi-Story Cropping Establishing trees and shrubs that are managed as an overstory to crops increases net carbon storage in woody biomass and soils.  Harvested biomass can serve as a renewable fuel and feedstock.
380 Windbreak/Shelterbelt Establishment
(Information Sheet)
Establishing linear plantings of woody plants increases biomass carbon stocks and enhances soil carbon.
381 Silvopasture Establishment Establishment of trees, shrubs, and compatible forages on the same acreage increases biomass carbon stocks and enhances soil carbon.
512 Forage and Biomass Planting
(Information Sheet)
Deep-rooted perennial biomass sequesters carbon and may have slight soil carbon benefits. Harvested biomass can serve as a renewable fuel and feedstock.
590 Nutrient Management
(Information Sheet)
Precisely managing the amount, source, timing, placement, and form of nutrient and soil amendments to ensure ample nitrogen availability and avoid excess nitrogen application reduces N2O emissions to the atmosphere.
592 Feed Management Diets and feed management strategies can be prescribed to minimize enteric CH4 emissions from ruminants.
612 Tree/Shrub Establishment
(Information Sheet)
Establishing trees and shrubs on a site where trees/shrubs were not previously established increases biomass carbon and increases soil carbon. Mature biomass can serve as a renewable fuel and feedstock.
666 Forest Stand Improvement
(Information Sheet)
Proper forest stand management (density, size class, understory species, etc.) improves forest health and increases carbon sequestration potential of the forest stand. Managed forests sequester carbon above and below ground. Harvested biomass can serve as a renewable fuel and feedstock.
Qualitative Ranking
N = Neutral
Practice
Code
Practice Standard and Associated Information Sheet Beneficial Attributes
GHG Ranking 2 332 Contour Buffer Strips
(Information Sheet)
Permanent herbaceous vegetative cover increases biomass carbon sequestration and increases soil carbon stocks.
391 Riparian Forest Buffer,
(Information Sheet)
Planting trees and shrubs for riparian benefits also increases biomass carbon sequestration and increases soil carbon stocks.
601 Vegetative Barrier Permanent strips of dense vegetation increase biomass carbon sequestration and soil carbon.
650 Windbelt/Shelterbelt Renovation
(Information Sheet)
Restoring trees and shrubs to reduce plant competition and optimize planting density increases carbon sequestration.
Qualitative Ranking
N = Neutral
Practice
Code
Practice Standard and Associated Information Sheet Beneficial Attributes
GHG Ranking 3 311 Alley Cropping Trees and/or shrubs are planted in combination with crops and forages. Increasing biomass density increases carbon sequestration and enhances soil carbon stocks.
390 Riparian Herbaceous Cover Perennial herbaceous riparian cover increases biomass carbon and soil carbon stocks.
550 Range Planting
(Information Sheet)
Establishing deep-rooted perennial and self-sustaining vegetation such as grasses, forbs, legumes, shrubs and trees improves biomass carbon sequestration and enhances soil carbon.
603 Herbaceous Wind Barriers
(Information Sheet)
Perennial herbaceous vegetation increases biomass carbon sequestration and soil carbon.
Qualitative Ranking
N = Neutral
Practice
Code
Practice Standard and Associated Information Sheet Beneficial Attributes
GHG Ranking 4 346 Residue and Tillage Management, Ridge Till
(Information Sheet)
Ridge planting promotes organic material accumulation that increases soil carbon. Reconstruction of ridges in the same row year after year will maximize organic matter buildup in the row. Shallow soil disturbance maintains soil carbon in the undisturbed horizons.
632 Solid/Liquid Waste Separation Facility Removal of solids from the liquid waste stream improves the efficiency of anaerobic digesters. CH4 generation is maximized within the digester by separating solids from the liquid feedstock. Proper management of the solid and liquid waste streams increases CH4 that is available for capture and combustion.
Qualitative Ranking
N = Neutral
Practice
Code
Practice Standard and Associated Information Sheet Beneficial Attributes
GHG Ranking 5 342 Critical Area Planting
(Information Sheet)
Establishing permanent vegetation on degraded sites enhances soil carbon and increases carbon sequestration by adding vegetative biomass.
344 Residue Management, Seasonal
(Information Sheet)
Managing residue enhances soil carbon when crop residues are allowed to decompose on a seasonal basis, increasing soil organic matter and reducing soil disturbance.
345 Residue and Tillage Management, Mulch Till
(Information Sheet)
Soil carbon increases when crop residues are allowed to decompose, increasing soil organic matter and minimizing soil disturbance.
384 Woody Residue Treatment Woody plant residues managed (chipped, scattered, etc.) on-site will increase soil carbon and soil organic matter. Forest slash that is removed can serve as a renewable fuel and feedstock.
386 Field Border
(Information Sheet)
Permanent vegetative field borders sequester carbon and increase soil carbon content.
393 Filter Strip
(Information Sheet)
Herbaceous vegetation in filter strips has slight carbon sequestration benefits and enhances soil carbon.
412 Grassed Waterways
(Information Sheet)
Perennial forbs and tall bunch grasses provide slight carbon sequestration benefits, minimize soil disturbance, and increase soil carbon.
422 Hedgerow Planting
(Information Sheet)
Woody plants and perennial bunch grasses increase biomass carbon stocks and enhance soil carbon.
543 Land Reclamation Abandoned Mined Land
(Information Sheet)
Establishment of permanent trees, shrubs, and grasses on abandoned and unmanaged lands increases biomass carbon stocks and enhances soil carbon.
544 Land Reclamation Currently Mined Land
(Information Sheet)
Establishment of permanent trees, shrubs, and grasses increases biomass carbon stocks and enhances soil carbon. Pre-mining baselines are important to establish prior to evaluating any carbon benefits.
589C Cross Wind Trap Strips
(Information Sheet)
Perennial vegetative cover increases biomass carbon stocks and enhances soil carbon. Minimized soil disturbance also enhances soil carbon.
657 Wetland Restoration
(Information Sheet)
Establishment of vegetation, particularly woodland and forest vegetation, increases biomass carbon stocks. Soil organic carbon is increased by incorporating compost as a physical soil amendment.