The Center for Rural Affairs is applauding the USDA for its dedication to climate-smart agriculture.
Kayla Bergman, senior policy associate with the Center for Rural Affairs, says the USDA plans to invest $38 million in a new program aimed at increasing cover crop acres. In addition, a key change to the Conservation Stewardship Program was announced.
In outlining the USDA’s plan, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said the goal is to increase the cover crop acres in the U.S. to 30 million by 2030, which is double the current amount. To assist in achieving the goal, a new cover crop initiative was announced as part of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This program is focused in 11 states, including Iowa and South Dakota.
Bergman also commends newly added flexibility for producers wanting to re-enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program. Up to this point, if a producer did not apply to renew their CSP contract the same year their existing contract expired, they would have to wait two years before applying to re-enroll. This ineligibility was regardless of whether a renewal application was rejected due to lack of funding on USDA-NRCS’s part.
Bergman says the removal of the two-year waiting period for producers wanting to re-enroll will eliminate a gap in financial assistance for many. Learn more by watching Kayla Bergman’s full video interview below.