- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced more than $3 billion in funding for agricultural producers and forest landowners to participate in voluntary conservation programs for fiscal year 2024.
- The funding is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda and comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, the largest climate and conservation investment in history.
- The programs aim to advance the President’s Justice40 Initiative, ensuring that 40% of the benefits reach disadvantaged communities.
- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack stated that the funding will be used for popular conservation practices like cover crops, waste and fertilizer management, and grazing practices.
- The funding is expected to help hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers apply conservation to millions of acres of land.
The Biden-Harris Administration has allocated more than $3 billion for agricultural conservation programs for fiscal year 2024. This funding supports agricultural producers and forest landowners in adopting climate-smart practices. The announcement coincides with the first-ever White House Climate Resilience Summit.
Biden-Harris Administration’s funding comes from President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, which invests an additional $19.5 billion in USDA’s popular conservation programs. These programs also align with the President’s Justice40 Initiative, aiming to ensure that 40% of federal investments in climate and clean energy benefits reach disadvantaged communities.
According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the funding will meet the high demand for oversubscribed conservation programs. It will focus on common-sense practices such as cover crops, waste and fertilizer management, and grazing practices. The aim is to maximize climate benefits across the country while providing other important environmental benefits like cleaner water and air, healthier wildlife habitats, and natural resource conservation for future generations.
Impact on Agricultural Producers
The funding is expected to assist hundreds of thousands of farmers and ranchers apply conservation practices to millions of acres of land. These practices include cover cropping, conservation tillage, wetland restoration, prescribed grazing, nutrient management, tree planting, and more. The funds will provide direct climate mitigation benefits and advance other environmental co-benefits.
The USDA is now accepting applications for fiscal year 2024 conservation assistance. However, in the event of a lapse in government funding, technical assistance and other support for producers would not be immediately available. Interested producers should apply soon to be considered for this funding cycle.