Climate Solutions – USDA.gov

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USDA announced a $1 billion investment in partnerships to support America’s climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. 
On February 7, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is delivering on its promise to expand markets by investing $1 billion in partnerships to support America’s climate-smart farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. The new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities opportunity will finance pilot projects that create market opportunities for U.S. agricultural and forestry products that use climate-smart practices and include innovative, cost-effective ways to measure and verify greenhouse gas benefits. USDA is now accepting project applications for fiscal year 2022.
This funding opportunity defines climate-smart commodities as being produced using agricultural (farming, ranching or forestry) practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon. Funding will be provided to partners through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation for pilot projects to provide incentives to producers and landowners to:
A range of public and private entities may apply. The primary applicant must be an entity, not an individual.
Funding will be provided in two funding pools. On March 11, USDA announced it is extending the deadlines to apply after requests from many stakeholders. Applicants must submit their applications via Grants.gov by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on:
Visit www.usda.gov/climate-solutions/climate-smart-commodities for additional information, including details on Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities and resources to support your application.
Press Release
Climate change presents real threats to U.S. agricultural production, forest resources and rural economies. Producers and land managers across the country are experiencing climate impacts on their operations through shifting weather patterns and increasingly frequent and severe storms, floods, drought and wildfire.
These threats have significant implications not just for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners, but also for surrounding communities and all Americans.
The Department is developing a comprehensive strategy centered on voluntary incentives, that is inclusive for all agricultural producers, landowners and communities, and that builds on the 90-Day Progress Report on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry (PDF, 561 KB).
Additionally, USDA’s Action Plan for Climate Adaptation and Resilience outlines action items to address the most significant climate risks to agriculture, forestry and rural communities.
The Fourth National Climate Assessment details how climate change is affecting various land uses in different regions of the United States.
USDA is committed to partnering with agriculture, forestry and rural communities to develop climate solutions that strengthen rural America.
In September 2021, the Department announced a new initiative to finance the deployment of climate-smart farming and forestry practices to aid in the marketing of climate-smart agricultural commodities. Guided by science, USDA will support a set of pilot projects that provide incentives to implement climate-smart conservation practices on working lands and to quantify and monitor the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices. The pilots could rely on the Commodity Credit Corporation’s specific power to aid in expansion or development of new and additional markets.
The Department published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment and input on design of this new initiative. Comments were encouraged from farmers and farmer organizations, commodity groups, livestock producer groups, environmental organizations, agriculture businesses and technology companies, environmental market organizations, renewable energy organizations, Tribal organizations and governments, organizations representing historically underrepresented producers, organizations representing historically underrepresented communities and private corporations.
USDA sought input specifically on:
Insights gained through this process will inform development of a Notice of Funding Opportunity soliciting Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative project proposals that encourage the adoption of climate-smart practices and promote markets for climate-smart commodities. USDA plans to announce additional details in early 2022.
Since January 2021, USDA has announced a suite of updates to the Department’s programs and services to support farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, partners and rural communities in combatting the impacts of climate change.
USDA offers a variety of resources and tools to support farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, partners and rural communities in making informed, science-based decisions to support climate change mitigation and build climate resilience.
USDA’s Climate Hubs deliver science-based, region-specific information and technologies – in partnership with USDA agencies and partners – to enable climate-informed decision making, reduce agricultural risk and build resilience to climate change. Since 2014, the 10 regional Climate Hubs have helped farmers, ranchers, forest and land managers and rural communities plan for and manage weather- and climate- related risks and vulnerabilities. The Climate Hubs translate climate science to action to ensure producers and land managers have useful and actionable information about climate change and its impacts to support adaptation, mitigation and resilience efforts.
The Hubs provide:
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USDA offers a carbon and greenhouse gas accounting system, COMET-Farm, to help producers quantify their operation’s carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reduction potentials based on multiple management scenarios. COMET-Farm estimates the carbon footprint for all or part of an agricultural operation and allows producers to evaluate a diversity of management decisions. No prior training is needed to use this online tool.
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USDA offers the COMET-Planner Tool to support carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas mitigation evaluations specific to conservation practices implemented through USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
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The U.S. Forest Service’s Climate Change Resource Center provides a suite of tools that are intended to help land managers incorporate climate change and carbon stewardship into their decision-making. Available tools range from specialized calculators to maps or models covering a variety of scales and geographical regions.
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USDA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Policy (OEEP) coordinates agricultural, rural and forestry-related climate change program and policy issues across USDA. OEEP houses the Office of Climate Change Program Office (CCPO), which ensures that USDA is a source of objective, analytical assessments of the effects of climate change and proposed response strategies.
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USDA offers voluntary programs and services to help agricultural producers and land managers build soil health, sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance productivity and commodity marketability, and mitigate the impacts of climate change while building resilience to strengthen your operation.
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