Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making funding available for agricultural producers and forest landowners nationwide to participate in voluntary conservation programs and adopt climate-smart practices.
The Inflation Reduction Act provided an additional $19.5 billion over five years for climate smart agriculture through several of the conservation programs that USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service implements. These additional investments are estimated to help hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers apply conservation to millions of acres of land. Additionally, the IRA provides $300 million to quantify carbon sequestration and greenhouse gases through the collection and use of field-based data to assess conservation outcomes. NRCS-WV is making IRA available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program.
These funds will provide direct climate mitigation benefits and will expand access to financial and technical assistance for producers to advance conservation on their farm or forest land through practices like cover cropping, conservation tillage, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, tree planting and more. To ensure we can quantify the benefits of these IRA investments, NRCS is working to support Department-wide work on Measurement, Monitoring, Reporting and Verification. The IRA provided targeted funding to support this effort. In administering the Inflation Reduction Act climate investments, USDA will also support other environmental co-benefits, including – among other things – water conservation, wildlife habitat improvements, and reducing runoff.
How to Apply:
NRCS accepts producer applications for its conservation programs year-round, but producers interested in EQIP or CSP should apply by April 14 to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Funding is provided through a competitive process and will include an opportunity to address the unmet demand from producers who have previously sought funding for climate-smart conservation activities.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America.
For additional information about CSP, contact the local service center or visit usda.gov.