The USDA will offer expanded and more flexible options to farmers who are interested in conservation programs. Increased opportunities for climate smart farming have been announced by Natural Resources Conservation Service.
New Partnership and Program
Farmers for Soil Health has announced a partnership to increase incentives for farmers using cover crops. Farmers for Soil Health is an initiative of the United Soybean Board and National Corn Growers Association. It aims to increase the use of cover crops on soybean and corn farms.
A targeted Cover Crop Initiative in 11 states will also be launched as part of this partnership. The program will provide $38 million to combat climate change by increasing cover crop use. The program is available in Arkansas and California, Colorado, Georgia. Mississippi, Ohio. Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, and California.
“We are pleased to see NRCS announce this new incentive program for cover crops,” said John Johnson, coordinator of Farmers for Soil Health, in a news release. “Cover crops have great potential to improve soil health, improve water quality, sequester carbon, and make our farms more resilient to severe climate events. We look forward to our partnership with NRCS, working to expand adoption of cover crop practices to help our farmers meet our sustainability goals.”
Sign up dates will vary by state. The final funding applications must be submitted by February 11.
Expansions and updates
The Environmental Quality Incentives Programme (EQIP), Conservation Incentives Contracts option will also be available in the United States in 2022. These contracts offer an incentive payment each year to implement management techniques, conservation evaluations, and monitor activities that impact natural resource concerns in high priority regions.
Conservation Incentive Contracts are piloted in four states by 2021. They last for five years. You can find more information in this fact sheet.
The NRCS also updated the reenrollment process for Conservation Stewardship Program. Producers can now immediately reenroll after an unfunded application to renew a contract. This eliminates any previous restrictions that prevented producers from re-enrolling for two years after a contract expired, or was terminated due to lack funds.
Source: Successful Farming