Climate Smart Farming Resource

Soil Carbon Management & Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Opportunities

Management of soil carbon can increase the amount of carbon in soil organic matter, which reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and improves soil health. Soil carbon benefits soil health by improving water retention, reducing erosion, and increasing biological activity. Increasing the amount of carbon stored in soils has both agricultural and environmental benefits such as higher yields and lower CO2 emissions. Reducing CO2 emissions is important for mitigating the extent and impacts of climate change.

This information sheet is intended to help technicians and educators work with landowners to help navigate methods for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from soil through soil carbon management. Potential opportunities and considerations outlined in this factsheet include: reducing tillage, adding crop residue, planting cover crops, and converting land from annual to perennial crops. These strategies help retain soil carbon and minimize on-farm greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on this factsheet or series, contact Peter Woodbury ( or Jenifer Wightman (

Cost: Free

Time Investment: Not Applicable