This page last reviewed October 30, 2014

Compliance Offset Protocol Rice Cultivation Projects


The Compliance Offset Protocol Rice Cultivation Projects provides methods for quantifying reductions in methane emissions from flooded rice fields.  Methane emissions are a result of anaerobic decomposition caused by the flooding of fields containing organic matter.  The organic matter originates from soil amendments, plant residues and root exudates.  Methane production is affected by the duration of flooding, the rice variety and the availability of crop residues and organic matter.

All reductions must be fully documented, and accurately quantified.  The protocol requires the use of the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) biogeochemical process model to quantify changes in N2O and CH4 emissions due to the eligible practices.  Projects are limited to the major rice growing regions in California and the Mid-South (Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, and Louisiana) for which the DNDC model has been calibrated with empirical data.  The eligible practices for California are: 1) replacing wet seeding with dry seeding and 2) early drainage at the end of growing season; and the eligible practices for the Mid-South: 1) intermittent flooding and 2) early drainage at the end of growing season.

The Offset Project Operator or Authorized Project Designee must use this protocol to quantify and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions.  The protocol provides eligibility rules, methods to quantify GHG emission reductions, offset project monitoring instructions, and procedures for preparing Offset Project Data Reports.  All offset projects are required to submit to independent verification by ARB-accredited verification bodies.  Regulatory requirements for verification of Offset Project Data reports are provided in the Cap-and-Trade Regulation.

This protocol ensures the complete, consistent, transparent, accurate, and conservative quantification of GHG emission reductions associated with a Rice Cultivation project.  

Required Material:


 SSURGO/STATSGO2 DATA: May be obtained from the USDA Website.    

For questions or comments regarding the Potential Rice Cultivation Protocol, 

please contact Tracy Haynes at (916) 324-0311 or via email at: