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SfL Lauds Launch of New USDA Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities Program DEADLINES April 8 and May 27, 2022 EXTENDED to June 10, 2022

Agriculture, Business News/Analysis, Federal Agency/Executive Branch, grants, Opinions, Policy, Sustainability
February 7, 2022

(Solutions from the Land)  Solutions from the Land (SfL) wholeheartedly endorses Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, a new USDA program announced today by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “This exciting new program provides another opportunity and pathway to enable farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and other producers to implement climate smart systems and practices that sustainably intensify production, improve resilience and reduce and/or sequester greenhouse gas reductions” said SfL President Ernie Shea. The program announced today closely aligns with the framework SfL has been advocating nationally and globally to unleash high value climate change solutions from the ag and forestry sectors. “We are especially pleased to see that the program will utilize market approaches to reward producers for the climate smart practices they deploy and the benefits they verify. We are also pleased to learn that the new pilot demonstration program will encourage large, landscape scale projects and will be open to all types of producers, including early adopters as well as small and historically underserved producers”. SfL looks forward to collaborating closely with USDA and a growing range of public and private partners in implementing climate smart production practices, activities and systems on working lands across the U.S.   READ MORE

USDA to Invest $1 Billion in Climate Smart Commodities, Expanding Markets, Strengthening Rural America (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

USDA kicking off climate-smart commodity initiative (Agri-Pulse)

USDA to spend $1 billion to promote climate-friendly agriculture (Reuters)

Agriculture Department to put $1 billion toward climate-friendly farming (The Hill)

Feds will spend $1 billion to spur farmers and ranchers to fight climate change (CNBC)

Brief: USDA commits $1bn to ‘climate-smart commodities’ (Ag Funder News)

USDA to invest $1B in Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities (Ethanol Producer Magazine)

USDA extends deadlines for climate-smart commodities funding (Biomass Magazine)

Emissions Challenge Must Be Met with Political Will, Smart Production Practices (Solutions from the Land)

USDA reports strong interest for Climate-Smart Commodities funds (Ethanol Producer Magazine)

 

Excerpt from Agri-Pulse: “It’s not a carbon market, although it’s possible that by the adoption of these climate-smart practices, the group of farmers who are participating could participate on their own in private carbon markets,” he said.

In response to criticism from some Republicans on Capitol Hill that the Commodity Credit Corp. is not the right vehicle for such an effort, Vilsack pointed to statutory provisions that authorize use of the CCC to “support the prices of agricultural commodities … through loans, purchases, payments, and other operations” and to “increase the domestic consumption of agricultural commodities” by developing new markets.

“So, just in case anybody asks you have the power to do this, we’re very confident we do,” Vilsack said.

Asked whether there’s a desire in farm country for the demonstration projects the program will fund, he pointed to the 400-plus comments the department received on what it initially called the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Forestry Partnership Initiative.

Applications will be accepted until April 8 for larger projects of $5 million to $50 million, and until May 27 for projects costing between $250,000 and $5 million.

The second category is “to make sure that small-sized farming operations and underserved populations are able to participate fully,” said Vilsack.

He said he anticipated the projects would run three to five years “as we embrace the adoption by American agriculture of climate-smart practices,” adding that projects would also address forestry practices.

“In order for folks to apply for these resources, they will have to essentially commit to the adoption of climate-smart agriculture or forestry practices,” Vilsack said. “They have to commit to quantifying, monitoring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas reductions or carbon sequestration results. And they need to work to develop and to promote market opportunities for these climate-smart commodities or forestry products.”

The secretary said the department has “already identified over 40 practices that we know and believe pretty clearly have benefits — cover crops rotational grazing, drip irrigation, things of that nature.”

The question, he said, is “if you combine a number of these practices, what is the cumulative effect and impact? How do you really sharpen the ability to quantify and measure and verify the result?”

“The more confidence there is in that verification process, the more confidence there is in the fact that you’ve got a higher value product here, because you’ve embraced these sustainable practices,” he said.

In a statement released Monday, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow said, “This is about partnering with farmers to tackle the climate crisis. It’s critical that we make sure that climate-friendly practices are profitable and practical for farmers – no matter what crop they produce, what region they’re in, or the size of their operation. The urgency of the climate crisis demands action, and I look forward to reviewing the feedback and data from these pilot projects, which will help inform the writing of the next farm bill.”

Republicans have raised concerns about using the CCC to pay for the program. The committee’s top Republican, John Boozman of Arkansas, stopped short of opposing the initiative, but promised to “pursue vigorous oversight.”

“I’ve always advocated for CCC money to be used for the direct benefit of farmers and the farm community. That is the criteria by which I will evaluate this program,” Boozman said in a statement.   READ MORE

 

Excerpt from Biomass Magazine: The USDA on March 11 announced it is extending the deadlines to apply for its Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. The agency opened the $1 billion funding opportunity in February.

The newly launched program 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 (GHG) benefits.

The USDA initially set an application deadline of April 8 for the first funding pool, which covers proposals from $5 million to $100 million. Applications for the second funding pool, which includes proposals from $250,000 to $4.99 million, were to be submitted by May 27. Those deadlines have now been extended.

“There has been a high level of interest in the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity, and we want to ensure that a diverse applicant pool is able to apply,” said Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie. “USDA is extending the deadline for the funding opportunity to provide more time for these applications.”

The new deadline for the first funding pool, which covers proposals from $5 million to $100 million, is now set for May 6. The new deadline for the second funding pool, which covers proposals from $250,000 to $4.99 million, is June 10.

For the purposes of this funding opportunity, a climate-smart commodity is defined as an agricultural commodity that is produced using agricultural (farming, ranching or forestry) practices that reduce GHG emissions or sequester carbon.

Funding for the program will be provided through the USDA’s Commodity Credit Corp. to support pilot projects that provides incentives to producers and landowners to implement climate-smart production practices, activities and systems on working lands; measure/quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and GHG benefits associated with those practices; and develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.

According to a notice of funding opportunity (NFO) published by USDA, projects developed under the program must be tied to the development of markets and promotion of climate-smart commodities. “Markets for climate-smart commodities may include companies or processors sourcing climate-smart commodities to meet internal targets or other supply chain goals, biofuel and renewable energy markets, companies seeking to sell branded consumer products, or other opportunities that could provide a premium or additional revenue for participating producers and land owners,” the USDA said in the NFO.

The use of soil amendments, such as biochar, and the development of anaerobic digestion projects are among those listed in the NFO. The NFO outlines additional application requirements that must be completed as part of applications for anaerobic digester projects.

Additional information, including a full copy of the NFO, is available on the USDA websiteREAD MORE

 

Excerpt from Ethanol Producer Magazine:  The USDA on May 10 announced it received more than 450 proposals for large-scale projects under its new Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities program. The agency is accepting proposals for smaller-scale projects through June 10.  READ MORE

 

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renewable fuel renewable fuel oil (RFO) Renewable Fuels Directive (EU) renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBO) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) revisions/repeal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS and RFS2) renewable gasoline blendstock renewable marine diesel Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) price Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) pumps Renewable Portfolio Standards Renewable Power Standard Renewable Synthesized Iso-Paraffinic Fuels (SIP) Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) renewable volume obligation (RVO) RenovaBio replacement molecules Repowering Assistance Program repurpose research and development research facility resiliency resurrection grass retail retrofit return on investment R Factor RFI (Request for Information) RFS "reset" RHD100 Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) Rhode Island rhododendron Ricardo rice rice bran rice bran oil rice hulls rice husks rice price rice straw/paddy straw RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) RIMPAC RINs (Renewable Identification Numbers) RINs markets RINs price risk management RJ-4 RJ-6 RME (rape methyl ester) RME180 RNA (Ribonucleic acid) RNG tax credit roadmap rocket fuel Romania RON (Research Octane Number) rosin rotation crops royalties RP-1 RTP (rapid thermal processing) rubber ruminants rural development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative Rural Renewable Energy Pilot Program rushes Russia rutabaga Rwanda ry rye Rye grass s saccharification SAF10 SAF30 SAF40 Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) safety safflower SAF pipeline sago pond weed SAIC SAK Salicornia salt-tolerant saltbush salt water Sanctions Santa Monica sardine oil Saskatchewan Saudi Arabia sawdust scale up Scandinavia scholarships/fellowships Science Advisory Board (SAB) Science Policy scooters Scotland scum sea level rise seaports seashore mallow seawater Seaweed/Macroalgae seaweed cultivation second-generation biofuel income tax credit Section 526 Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seed husks Senegal Serbia sesame sewage Seychelles shale shale gas shale oil shark oil sheep shipping shipping containers Sierra Leone silica Silphie/cup plant/Indian cup silver simarouba Singapore Singpore SK slash Slovakia Slovakia/Slovak Republic Slovenia sludge Small Business Administration small engines small refinery exemption (SRE) smog soapstock Social social benefit investing social cost social value social venture Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) soi soil soil amendments soil carbon soil health soil microbial biomass solar energy solar energy-to-chemical conversion solar fuel solaris solar thermochemical hydrogen (STCH) solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) Solomon Islands Solutions solvent liquefaction Somalia soot sorghum sorghum oil South Africa South America South Australia South Carolina South Dakota Southeast Asia Southern Africa South K South Korea South Sudan SOx (Sulfur oxides) soybean prices soybeans soy meal Spain spartina specifications Spekboom Spent Bleaching Earth Oil (SBEO) sprawl spruce Sri Lanka Stakeholders standards start-up State Department Statistics steam explosion steam methane reformation steam reformation steel stevia stillage storage tanks Straight (pure) Vegetable Oil (SVO or PVO) stranded assets Strategic Bioenergy Reserve STrategiv Petroleum Reserve straw students su sub-Saharan Africa sub-sim (substantially similar) subsid succinic acid sucrose Sudan sugar sugar-to-biodiesel sugar-to-farnesane sugar-to-jetfuel Sugar Beets/Energy Beets sugarcan sugarcane sugarcane prices sugarcane straw Sugar kelp sugar platform sugar prices sugars sugars-to-fats sugar standards sulfur sunflower sunflower stalks supercritical fluid supercritical hydrolysis supply agreements supply chain Supreme Court surahart Suriname sustain Sustainability Swaziland Sweden sweetgum sweet potatoes Sweet sorghum swine waste Switchgrass Switzerland syngas syngas/gas fermentation synthesised 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