Thousands of producers hoping to implement more conservation practices on their farms are lining up for government assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives and Conservation Stewardship programs, as the Agriculture Department touts the promises of climate-smart agriculture as a mitigator of climate change. But these programs, despite their billion dollar budgets, aren’t equipped to deal with this demand, forcing the agency to turn away the majority of applicants.
Companies and farm groups that are trying to recruit farmers to sign up for climate plans often face skeptical producers who fear that most, if not all, of the financial benefit will go to retailers and manufacturers who get to label their products as good for the environment.
The Biden administration is setting lofty goals for its $1 billion initiative to develop marketable climate-smart commodities, while establishing an aggressive timetable to get pilot projects underway before Congress writes the next farm bill.
The Biden administration is launching the application process for a $1 billion program that will test ways farms of all sizes can profit from the low-carbon commodities they produce through practices that cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Farmers will need significant incentives to plant incentives to plant more cover crops, and the subsidies will likely need to increase as the government’s acreage goals rise, according to a study by economists at The Ohio State University and the University of Illinois.
Some $90 billion in agriculture and child nutrition spending that’s part of the stalled Build Back Better bill is in play as the White House and congressional Democrats disassemble the $1.7 trillion measure and possibly move some of the funding into other legislation.