The Earth's temperature is rising as a result of increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Agriculture is a source of methane and nitrous oxide emissions, two prominent greenhouse gases. Changes in agricultural practices can reduce emissions of these gases, and reduce atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide by sequestering carbon in soil.
Some farming practices (excess fertilization and manure, for example) can degrade our Nation's natural resources while others (such as preserving land for wildlife) can enhance our natural heritage. USDA conservation programs offer producers a range of options for assistance with conservation efforts.
ERS analyzes the extent of conservation practices and the efficacy of Federal programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program in promoting the use of practices that enhance environmental quality.
Invasive Species Issues
USDA and other Federal and State Government agencies have programs to prevent entry and to detect, monitor, and manage invasive species that enter the United States or spread to new regions. This page presents an overview, background and current issues on the ERS invasive species management research program.
Consumer demand for organically produced goods has shown double-digit growth for well over a decade, providing market incentives for U.S. farmers across a broad range of products.