What is Carbon Farm Planning?

Carbon Farm Planning combines traditional whole-farm planning and natural resource assessment with up-to-date climate science to identify practices that a land steward can implement to increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the farm. Marin RCD and our partners work with land stewards to create site-specific Carbon Farm Plans that prescribe applicable NRCS Conservation Practices. Climate benefits of implementing the proposed practices are then quantified using GHG planning and modeling tools including COMET Planner and COMET Farm.

Once completed, Carbon Farm Plans can serve as a foundation from which Marin RCD and our partners can work with a land steward to provide financial and technical assistance for the design and implementation phases. Carbon Farm Plans may also be living documents that are updated as land-bases change hands, a producer’s goals shift, or practices are implemented and new opportunities arise.

Carbon Farm Plan templates are available for rangelands, vineyards, orchards and forests on the carbon farming webpages of the North Bay RCDs, linked below:

Napa RCD
Sonoma RCD
Mendocino RCD
Gold Ridge RCD

Our partners at the Carbon Cycle Institute have compiled a step-by-step Carbon Farm Planning Guide, linked here. Marin RCD uses a process similar to this Guide, when writing Carbon Farm Plans and typically starts from an Outline such as this one linked here.

Read more about Carbon Farm Planning in our June 2021 Sonoma-Marin Farm News Article, “How Can Planning Make Carbon Farming Doable?”


How can I get on your waitlist if I am interested in receiving a Carbon Farm Plan? 

Please send an email to and, or call us at 415-663-1170, to be added to our waitlist. Note: to be eligible to work with Marin RCD to receive a Carbon Farm Plan, your land must be in Marin County and must be in agricultural production.

How are farms selected to receive a Carbon Farm Plan from Marin RCD?

When Marin RCD is awarded funding to write carbon farm plans, either past ranking lists are consulted, or Marin RCD will run a new solicitation round. If running a new round, all agriculturally zoned parcels in Marin County will be sent a solicitation notice asking if they want to apply to receive a Carbon Farm Plan. Those on the Carbon Farm Plan waitlist will also be notified by email or other means.

Interested farms will be visited by a Technical Advisory Group who will rank the farm against a selection criteria. Among other things, the selection criteria scores for the potential GHG sequestration potential of the farm, co-benefits including wildlife habitat and hydrologic improvements, and the landowner’s commitment to the planning and implementation process. The highest ranking farms will be selected to actively participate in the Carbon Farm Planning process. 

Funding Overview for Carbon Farm Plans

Various funding programs can provide cost-share, incentive, or full funding for conservation and carbon farming projects in Marin.

At times, Marin RCD is awarded private or public funds to administer for the design and implementation of Carbon Farm Plan practices on private working lands in Marin County. Email and to be put on our waitlist of producers interested in receiving a Carbon Farm Plan!  When funds are available for writing plans, the Marin RCD will reach out to you. We have several funding opportunities that will be announced soon.