Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published the 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry. The report is in response to President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad which directed USDA to collect stakeholder input on how to best use programs, funding and financing capacities to encourage the voluntary adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices.
The report focuses on USDA’s commitment to developing tools to assist farmers in quantifying benefits of climate smart practices and supporting research and data collection to support carbon measurement and verification capabilities. The progress report mentions that USDA could help support carbon credit prices but emphasizes the use of private markets to compensate farmers for practices.
The document acknowledges the role of agriculture in decarbonizing the transportation sector and stated, “The growth of the U.S. biofuels sector, driven in part by the Renewable Fuels Standard, has reduced GHGs and strengthened the rural economy. Ethanol produced from corn reduces GHG emissions relative to gasoline.” USDA called the report “the beginning of a process to position USDA to adapt to and mitigate climate change.” NCGA looks forward to continuing to work with the Administration to enable opportunities for corn farmers to be part of the climate solution.