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Conservation Cropping Offsets

 Alberta Agriculture & Forestry staff heard that some producers have questions about the effect of tillage to remove ruts in fields on carbon credits.

According to Alberta Agriculture & Forestry’s Quantification Protocol for Conservation Cropping  guidelines:

“Discretionary tillage operations of up to 10 per cent means that up to 10 per cent of the project area (i.e.: excluding sloughs,  grassed  waterways,  buildings,  forested  areas,  etc)  of  a  single  agricultural  field  may  be  cultivated  to  address

field-  specific  management  issues  (for  example,  ruts  caused  by  working  through  wet  areas  or  weed  control  at  field boundaries). These areas are determined on an annual basis, meaning that specific areas may change from year to year.

All  discretionary  tillage  must  be  documented  and  the  area  size  of  the  disturbance  must  be  estimated.    Discretionary

tillage that is equal to or greater  than 10% of field area will result in the field being disallowed for the affected year and no offset credits can be generated on the whole field for that year.  This information must be disclosed in project documentation (See example field sheet in Appendix E).”