This looks a like a really interesting and powerful tool. It’s purpose, in a nutshell, is to help producers understand and manage their operation to maximize carbon sequestration (and building soil health) and minimize energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
I would like to get feedback from real producers impressions in using this tool. You could reply to on this post or just send me an email. Does it work? Did you learn anything by using it? Was it difficult to use? Any other comments? I can tell you it does take some time to enter all the data about your farm history and what your goals are so registering would be beneficial from that standpoint because you can save your data. Click on the image below to go directly to the tool homepage.
You can also check out some other related tools on USDA’s climate change page.
I really would like your feedback no matter what size your operation is! Thanks for looking in.
Here is an excerpt about the tool from Tom Vilsack’s press recent press conference regarding USDA and climate change:
“This online tool is the next generation of our ongoing efforts to develop user-friendly tools to help farmers understand the greenhouse gas footprints of their operations.
Producers will input information about their land and current and past management practices to establish a baseline. The tool will let them select from a list of alternative conservation practices to see how each one changes their greenhouse gas emissions and carbon capture. For example, a producer planning to implement conservation tillage could estimate how that conservation practice will increase soil carbon, and decrease emissions for the operation overall.
Used in this way, COMET-Farm can help producers reach decisions that reduce energy costs, while building carbon stocks in the soil. It would also serve as a gateway for future efforts to help producers participate in voluntary carbon markets.
These new NRCS tools build on a campaign for soil health at USDA – because we know that healthy soil can absorb a significant amount of carbon, and help greatly in mitigating climate threats. By improving soil health we can simultaneously improve productivity, protect water resources, improve biodiversity, reduce erosion and help put carbon back into the ground where it belongs.
We also know that healthy soils are more resilient soils. Each pound of soil organic matter in the soil can hold 18-20 pounds of water – helping make farms more resilient to periods of drought and other weather extremes.
That’s why USDA has focused on helping our nation’s farmers and ranchers through our campaign – called “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil.” We know that soil conservation practices help farmers – but they also help mitigate the impacts of a changing climate. Efforts like these will only be stronger as we ramp up new, regionally-focused information sharing efforts.”