WASHINGTON, D.C. [04/19/21]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith recently introduced bipartisan legislation to help farmers adopt conservation and climate practices to sustain their farms, boost bottom lines and protect the environment. The Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act, led by Sen. Smith and Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) would create a USDA competitive grant program to help farmers make these improvements.
Sen. Smith said that universities will provide farmers who are participating in the grant program with individualized advice to help them meet their conservation goals. This unique partnership creates an opportunity for new research and ideas to be applied to farming operations.
“Strong farm programs that encourage conservation and climate practices will help farmers maintain sustainable and productive operations well into the future,” said Sen. Smith. “They will also help us reduce greenhouse gas emissions to fight climate change. This bill connects farmers with the information and resources they need to take action.”
“Hoosier farms feed our families and are integral to our supply chains. Every farmer faces unique decisions in their farm management, and pressure from the federal government to cut carbon emissions can place stress on the good work already underway,” said Sen. Young. “My Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act gives farmers access to the latest tools and research in order to be successful while keeping American soil productive and healthy.”
Conservation and climate practices enhance farms’ resiliency and bottom lines by advancing soil health and water quality. They can also help fight climate change. For example, CO2 emissions could be reduced by nearly 150 million metric tons per year if US farmers adopted cover crops on 25% of cropland and conservation tillage on all tillable acres.
You can read bill text here.