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The Role of Agriculture in Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

by John Horowitz and Jessica Gottlieb

Economic Brief No. (EB-15) 8 pp, September 2010

Cover Image for EB15 Agriculture could play a prominent role in U.S. efforts to address climate change if farms and ranches undertake activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or take greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. These activities may include shifting to conservation tillage, reducing the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops, changing livestock and manure management practices, and planting trees or grass. The Federal Government is considering offering carbon offsets and incentive payments to encourage rural landowners to pursue these climate-friendly activities as part of a broader effort to combat climate change. The extent to which farmers adopt such activities would depend on their costs, potential revenues, and other economic incentives created by climate policy. Existing Federal conservation programs provide preliminary estimates of the costs of agricultural carbon sequestration.

Keywords: agricultural economics, climate change, conservation, greenhouse gas, emissions, carbon, land, methane, mitigation, agricultural practices

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Last updated: Saturday, May 26, 2012

For more information contact: John Horowitz and Jessica Gottlieb

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