We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

U.S. Department of Agriculture to triple investment in climate-friendly farming

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest nearly $3 billion in projects to reduce climate-harming emissions from farming and forestry, tripling the funding it had initially envisioned for the program, the agency announced on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Most cover crop mixes on Stoney Creek Farm consist of three grasses, three legumes and three brassicas. Grant and Dawn Breitkreutz plant cover crops during or after every crop. Jenny Schlecht / Forum News Service
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced more than $2 billion in funding for agriculture projects to reduce the industry's carbon footprint. Some of the projects include more use of cover crops.
Jenny Schlecht / Agweek file photo
We are part of The Trust Project.

WASHINGTON, Sept 14 (Reuters) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture will invest nearly $3 billion in projects to reduce climate-harming emissions from farming and forestry, tripling the funding it had initially envisioned for the program, the agency announced on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

The investment is part of a broader effort by the administration of President Joe Biden to decarbonize the U.S. economy within decades and make the United States a leader in the fight against global climate change.

Farming generates nearly 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to Environmental Protection Agency data.

"This will allow the U.S. agriculture and forest industry to take a leadership role internationally," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on a call with reporters on Tuesday, Sept. 13. "This is a really big day for American agriculture."

The program will fund 70 projects across 50 states and Puerto Rico that would encourage farmers to cut emissions in various ways. This would include planting cover crops to enhance soil health and absorb carbon, improving manure management to cut methane emissions, and collecting data on environmentally friendly beef and bison grazing practices.

ADVERTISEMENT

USDA first announced in February that it would spend $1 billion on the effort, which it dubbed the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program.

But after receiving 1,050 applications requesting more than $20 billion in funding — far more than the agency anticipated — it turned to the Commodity Credit Corporation for more money, Vilsack said.

The CCC is a pool of funds provided by the U.S. Treasury to support the farm economy.

The projects announced on Wednesday will receive $2.8 billion and range in size from $5 million to $100 million. The private sector has pledged an additional $1.4 billion for the projects, Vilsack said.

The agency said it will announce a second round of funding later this year for additional climate-related projects.

(Reporting by Leah Douglas in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

______________________________________________________

This story was written by one of our partner news agencies. Forum Communications Company uses content from agencies such as Reuters, Kaiser Health News, Tribune News Service and others to provide a wider range of news to our readers. Learn more about the news services FCC uses here.

What to read next
South Dakota U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson, one of 51 U.S. representatives who signed the Sept. 26 letter, told Agweek in a prepared statement, “China is not our friend, and if a purchase such as the one near the Grand Forks Air Force Base is a strategic move by the Chinese Communist Party to intercept sensitive U.S. military communications, this would cause serious problems."
Farmers in the United States are urging their government to challenge a looming Mexican ban on genetically modified corn under a regional free trade agreement, warning of billions of dollars of economic damage to both countries.
Biden aims to end U.S. hunger and reduce diet-related diseases in a majority of Americans by 2030 and has turned to the private sector to underwrite some of the spending after Congress failed to further extend school lunch aid.
A native of Marshall, Minnesota, Brian Werner has previously worked for Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Minnesota Congressman Collin Peterson, and former Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota.