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USDA launches climate initiative as part of $3B investment in agriculture

The USDA has launched a new Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative. Ag Secretary Vilsack says the USDA will support a set of pilot projects that provide incentives to implement climate smart conservation practices and quantify the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits of them.

“I want to make clear this initiative is not a carbon bank or a carbon market. It’s not even a conservation program. Although both may be available to producers as a result of this program. This initiative is, first and foremost, a commodity program.”

Vilsack says USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is establishing a climate change research pipeline, “We’ll cooperate with the private sector to assess the performance of new technologies and conservation practices and we’ll partner with our conservation programs at USDA to enable our producers to adopt these climate solutions.”

USDA wants input from farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to enhance the initiative. Comments will be taken through the Federal Register through November 1st.

Vilsack also announced more USDA funding for disaster relief and prevention of African Swine Fever Tuesday – through a $3 Billion investment package – while at Colorado State University.

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