Soil carbon monitoring is set to receive an $8 million boost under plans from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to expand monitoring of carbon in soil on working agricultural lands and assess how climate-smart practices affect carbon sequestration.

According to NRCS Chief Terry Crosby, “soil health management practices and activities are a tremendous part of our strategy when it comes to 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,” he added.

USDA NRCS will fund regional projects focused on soil organic carbon stock monitoring, 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.