Photo by Lea Kimley.

Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program update

This spring, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the first round of funding through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot program has received more than 450 proposals ranging from $5 million to $100 million each. The applications USDA received came from more than 350 groups across various sectors.

The American Soybean Association submitted two letters in support of proposals for the program. The first letter supports a project led by Bushel, Inc. and the U.S. Soybean Export Council, which will test the ability of their apps to collect climate-smart production data from farmers and transmit it to grain buyers in an effort to improve traceability and possibly augment the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP). The second is in support of a project by the National Corn Growers Association, the National Pork Board and the United Soybean Board that aims to increase cover crop adoption in the corn-soy belt through creation of an innovative private marketplace that will generate demand for climate smart commodities.

“There has been a high level of interest in the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity, and we want to ensure that a diverse applicant pool is able to apply,” said Robert Bonnie, Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “USDA is extending the deadline for the funding opportunity to provide more time for these applications.”

Applicants can still apply for the Second Funding Pool via Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. ET on June 10, 2022 with proposals from $250,000 to $4,999,999. The Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity will finance pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart production practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. USDA began accepting project applications for fiscal year 2022 on Feb. 7, 2022, and since then, Department officials have heard from many stakeholders that an extension would allow them to prepare more robust applications to further development of climate-smart markets for a diverse range of producers.
Funding will be provided to partners through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation for pilot projects to provide incentives to producers and landowners to:

  • Implement climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands,
  • Measure/quantify, monitor, and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with those practices, and
  • Develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.

A range of public and private entities may apply, including:

  • County, city or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • State governments
  • Small businesses
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) (other than institutions of higher education)
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) (other than institutions of higher education)
  • Private institutions of higher education, or
  • Public and State-controlled institutions of higher education.

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