Should IRA dollars go beyond climate-smart practices?

Senate Agriculture Committee Republican leadership says the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate-smart funding will not benefit all farmers.

Ranking Member John Boozman tells Brownfield staff analysis found fewer than half of currently funded USDA projects would meet the conservation requirements for IRA eligibility.

“I think there’s a real problem with the inability of these programs since they are just for carbon sequestration,” he says.

A review of the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program found 51 percent of practices would not be supported by IRA funds.  Examples of practices excluded support water facilities, brush management, and structural improvements.

Boozman says the additional $18 billion available for conservation programs passed through the reconciliation process on party lines and skipped the Congressional hearing process.

“None of the input was from the different grower organizations that we have that are so active, you know that understand these things, people like Farm Bureau were not involved, the Farmers Union was not involved, I mean the list goes on and on,” he says.

Meanwhile, Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow says nearly half of all currently funded applications are implementing climate-smart agriculture practices and she’s excited to see a record level of applicants. 

Brownfield interviews Senator Boozman on government funding, farm bill progress, and IRA analysis.

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