The agriculture sector accounts for 11% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to a Congressional Research Service report.
Soil management practices — including applying fertilizer, irrigating a field, draining a field’s water, tilling or turning over the soil, changes in land use and spreading livestock manure on fields — made up half of the agricultural emissions.
The second-largest chunk of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions comes from enteric fermentation, part of the digestive processes of livestock, commonly referred to as “cow burps.”
Another major contributor to agricultural emissions is manure management practices — livestock and poultry manure stored in lagoons and tanks.
All together, soil management, enteric fermentation and manure management account for 90% of greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the agriculture sector.
Top image: Farmland near Marengo, Iowa, has a layer of foliage in the topsoil protecting the subsoil. Nov. 9, 2015. photo by Danielle Wilde, IowaWatch
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