LandSmart Carbon Farm Plans

What is Carbon Farm Planning?
no-till drill

LandSmart Carbon Farm Plans (CFPs) identify practices that would allow agricultural operations to increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon farming involves an array of strategies that promote long-term carbon sequestration by capturing carbon in the soil and plant material. Many carbon farming practices also improve a farm’s resiliency to climate change impacts. Taken together, they promote soil health and productivity, and improve water holding capacity, crop and forage production, and wildlife habitat.


Carbon Farm Planning Templates & Reference Guides

Forest .pdf and .doc




See a preliminary list of Carbon Farming Practices 


Learn more

Example Plans:

ABC Ranch Carbon Farm Plan

L-J Ranch Carbon Farm Plan

Huichica Creek Vineyard Carbon Farm Plan 

What are the benefits of a LandSmart Carbon Farm Plan (CFP)?

  • Address concerns you have about specific areas of your property
  • Solidify your priorities for land management activities and determine a timeline that is feasible for you to implement your priorities
  • Implement land management practices that improve the long term productivity and profitability of your land while protecting natural resources
  • Prepare you for opportunities to participate in cost-share programs that can help you meet your goals

What does a CFP include?

A Carbon Farm Plan helps you look at your property through the lens of greenhouse gas and carbon sequestration. The Plan evaluates all elements of your farming and land management practices and challenges you to find more climate beneficial alternatives when feasible. Depending upon your site, LandSmart Plans may include some or all of the following:

  • Mapping and inventory of property features such as planted areas, grazed areas, streams, riparian areas, roads, etc.
  • Water Management
  • Erosion, Sediment & Stormwater Management
  • Agrichemical Management
  • Management of riparian areas
  • Assessment of current practices and, if needed, recommendations for other beneficial practices (e.g., invasive plant removal, native vegetation enhancement, removal of fish passage obstructions/barriers, outlet protection, etc.)
  • Assessment and recommendations for other issues or management practices that are of interest to you
  • Prioritized action plan for improving carbon and greenhouse gas sequestration on your farm, as well as quantitative estimates of how each planned practice benefits carbon and greenhouse gas sequestration.

How can I get started on my LandSmart CFP?

Contact your local RCD.


Partners’ Websites:

Marin Carbon Project

Carbon Cycle Institute



Funders’ Websites:

CA State Coastal Conservancy




The Story of Soil

Carbon Farming


LandSmart CFP News

North Bay RCDs and Partners Plan for Climate Change on Vineyards

November 2016

Hosted at the beautiful SRJC Shone Farm, the Gold Ridge, Sonoma, Mendocino and Napa RCDs, the USDA’s NRCS Ukiah Office, UCCE Mendocino and the Santa Rosa Junior College came together this November to discuss current research on vineyard climate-beneficial practices for our region.

These might include timed irrigation/fertigation to increase nitrogen uptake by vines, compost application, hedgerow planting, cover cropping and grazing, reduced an non-tillage, and more. These practices are being examined for their ability to sequester carbon dioxide, retain water, reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers, amendments and pesticides, and maintain grape quality and quantity. This meeting will help inform the RCDs as they start assisting vineyards to create LandSmart Carbon Farm Plans.