USDA has completed negotiations on more than 35 projects that are receiving funding under the department’s $3.1 billion Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday.
The chairman of the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday accused Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack of exploiting a “loophole” in USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. account to fund $3 billion in climate-related projects.
The Agriculture Department is working with groups involved in the $3.1 billion Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program to provide flexibility to farmers on how they plant cover crops, in order to ensure enough farmers sign up for the projects.
Senators on both sides of the aisle used a farm bill hearing Thursday to call for addressing the rising input costs faced by row crop producers and expanding crop insurance options for fruits, vegetables and other specialty crops.
Agriculture has played a prominent role at the United Nations climate conference, where a broad range of companies, groups and governments have been discussing issues ranging from reparations for climate damage to the role of livestock in contributing to and perhaps even mitigating the problem.
Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says the handful of funding recipients for USDA’s Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities Program he announced Tuesday should provide a framework for a broader rollout in two weeks.
More technical assistance and streamlined application processes for conservation programs would help farmers adopt conservation practices to reduce greenhouse gases, lawmakers were told at a hearing on how the next farm bill should address climate change.
The Department of Agriculture is looking to award grants into U.S. fertilizer production and plans to give more time for interested parties to submit their applications for a round of funding to promote climate-smart commodities.