On August 7, 2022, the full Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which will provide approximately $40 billion over the next ten years for climate change mitigation and resilience efforts through agriculture provisions. Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and a broad coalition of over 130 groups strongly recommended investment in climate solutions and conservation technical assistance in the bill to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. OFRF further recommends immediate bill passage by the House to ensure agricultural producers can access USDA programs that promote soil health, sequester carbon, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions while building climate resilience.
The $739B bill will allot approximately $369 billion to address climate change; this includes about $20 billion for USDA conservation programs for farmers, ranchers, and landowners. Funding would include the following:
- $300 million for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to quantify carbon sequestration and emissions on farmland
- $8.45 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
- $6.75 billion for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)
- $3.25 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
- $1.4 billion for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP)
- $1 billion for USDA conservation technical assistance programming
“We are equipping farmers, foresters, and rural communities with the necessary tools to be a part of the solution,” said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, who also acknowledged support from environmental advocates, economists, companies, trade groups, and farm-related organizations such as OFRF.