In February 2022, the USDA announced yet another program to promote conservation & climate improvement practices: the Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities. The USDA defines a ‘climate smart commodity’ as any agricultural commodity that is produced using practices that reduce greenhouse gases or sequester carbon. A few of these climate smart practices include: minimum/no till, riparian buffers, cover crops, prescribed grazing, cover crops, etc.
The ultimate goal being to acquire relevant data from U.S. producers regarding greener practices and use this resulting data to better inform farmers & landowners of the economic and environmental benefits of their implementation.
Within project proposals, applicants must address the following topics:
- Plans on how to implement climate-smart practices
- The involvement of small or underserved producers
- Data collection, monitoring, verification, and reporting of climate reports
- Promotion of climate-smart commodities
There are two groups within the funding pool, and one of the application deadlines has already passed. The second funding pool, with applications due on May 27, 2002, will focus on small or underserved producers and/or minority-serving institutions. The awards will range from $250,000 to under $5,000,000. Individuals may not apply for this grant, so it is important to partner with an entity. Awards will be allocated to applicants anywhere in the United States. For assistance, reach out to your local Farm Service Agency. You can find your local office here: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=in&agency=fsa
Indiana farmland is among some of the most productive in the United States for commodities, organic crops, and other diversity driven crop rotations such as regenerative agriculture. That being said, there are plenty of opportunities within the state to modify practices toward being more environmentally conscious. Climate smart farmland management can be a effective way to improve soil health and ultimately farmland values. If you’re a local producer or landowner and you’re interested in learning more about these practices, you can visit the website for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (a division of the USDA). https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/
Here at Land Values, we’re committed to educating our community on topics relating to farmland, regenerative farming practices and legacy and long-term landownership. We’re strong believers in the adoption of conservation-centered practices (due to their positive economic impact to both farmers & our land), and we’ve published several other pieces on this topic in the past:
- New Grant Awarded to Purdue University to Study Agricultural Crop Diversification & the Effects on Soil Health & Water Quality
- The Culture of Indiana Cover Crops
- Three Way to Boost Soil Health on Your Farm
- Sustainable Agriculture
Farmers and Landowners are arguably the most important and impactful stewards of our land. We applaud your efforts and are thankful for your contributions (to both our bellies and mother earth).