Farm Progress

Agency allocates $8 million to four partnerships.

Joshua Baethge, Policy editor

May 26, 2023

1 Min Read
Hand holding soil
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USDA announced it is allocating $8 million to expand soil carbon measuring and monitoring on agricultural land. The grant money will be divided among four regional partnership projects. Partners include Iowa State University, Michigan State University, American Climate Partners, and The University of Texas at El Paso.

They will help implement the new Conservation Evaluation and Monitoring Activity being rolled out by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. As part of the program, farmers and ranchers will receive financial assistance to measure soil organic carbon stocks before and after they implement a conservation practice or plan. Their soil will be tested for organic carbon and bulk density to establish carbon stock levels.

This CEMA is the latest initiative announced as part of the Biden Administration’s Investing in America Agenda. It is intended to complement current USDA carbon monitoring efforts. Project partners have been directed to develop strategies to reach diverse producers and underserved communities. Those partners will provide training on soil sampling, data collection, and managing and processing methods. They will also encourage more producers to participate in NRCS’s soil carbon monitoring efforts.

“Healthy soils are a powerful tool when it comes to sequestering carbon,” NRCS Chief Terry Cosby says. “These partners will enhance our measurement tools and eventually become part of our program delivery to advance quantification of the effects that climate-smart agricultural practices have on carbon sequestration. Soil health management practices and activities are a tremendous part of our strategy when it comes to climate-smart agriculture and forestry.” 

About the Author(s)

Joshua Baethge

Policy editor, Farm Progress

Joshua Baethge covers a wide range of government issues affecting agriculture. Before joining Farm Progress, he spent 10 years as a news and feature reporter in Texas. During that time, he covered multiple state and local government entities, while also writing about real estate, nightlife, culture and whatever else was the news of the day.

Baethge earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Texas. In his free time, he enjoys going to concerts, discovering new restaurants, finding excuses to be outside and traveling as much as possible. He is based in the Dallas area where he lives with his wife and two kids.

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