The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is supporting a diverse range of farmers, ranchers, and private forest landowners through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. This effort will expand markets for America’s climate-smart commodities, leverage the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production, and provide direct, meaningful benefits to production agriculture, including for small and underserved producers.
On September 14, 2022, Secretary Vilsack announced USDA is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects under the first pool of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding opportunity. Ultimately, USDA’s anticipated investment will triple to more than $3 billion in pilots that will create market opportunities for American commodities produced using climate-smart production practices.
USDA will work with the applicants for these 70 identified projects to finalize the scope and funding levels in the coming months. These projects will:
Provide technical and financial assistance to producers to implement climate-smart production practices on a voluntary basis on working lands;
Pilot innovative and cost-effective methods for quantification, monitoring, reporting, and verification of greenhouse gas benefits; and
Develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities.
USDA anticipates that these 70 projects will result in:
Hundreds of expanded markets and revenue streams for producers and commodities across agriculture, ranging from traditional corn to specialty crops.
More than 50 thousand farms reached, encompassing over 20-25 million acres of working land engaged in climate-smart production practices such as cover crops, no-till, and nutrient management.
More than 50 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent were sequestered over the lives of the projects. This is equivalent to removing more than 10 million gasoline-powered passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
More than 50 universities, including multiple minority-serving institutions, engaged and helping advance projects, especially with outreach and monitoring, measurement, reporting, and verification.
Proposals for the 70 selected projects include plans to match, on average, over 50% of the federal investment with nonfederal funds.
Eighteen projects were listed with Nebraska as their primary state. Companies like Tyson Foods, ADM, Western Sugar, Costco, Land O'Lakes, ABS Global, PepsiCo, Cargill, Scoular, Bayer, and many other notable companies were listed as lead or major partners of the projects. The major commodities of the projects vary from more traditional agriculture commodities like corn, soybeans, beef, and pork to more specialty crops like grapes, bison, peanuts, rice, fruit trees, and more.
ADM and Partners' Climate-Smart Solutions
This project will utilize incentive payments to thousands of producers across 15 states to adopt and implement climate-smart agriculture (CSA). Part of the project will include the engagement of ADM's 5,000 underserved producers to promote CSA opportunities, resulting in significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and removals. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Iowa State University, and Purdue University are university partners in the project. The approximate funding ceiling is $90,000,000.
Tyson Foods, Inc. Climate-Smart Commodities Project
This project will expand climate-smart markets and increase carbon sequestration and reduce emissions in the production of beef and row crops for livestock feed. Small and underserved producers will receive technical assistance and incentive payments to increase their capacity to reduce emissions and adopt climate-smart practices. Beef, Pork, Poultry, and Corn are the major commodities, and the approximate funding ceiling for the project is $60,000,000.
Reducing GHG emissions and improving soil carbon sequestration potential through high-carbon soil amendment
This pilot project will support the expansion of climate-smart markets and the implementation of climate-smart practices to augment conservation Best Management Practices and generate reference data to support the development of regionally optimized ecosystem services models. The geographic focus of this project (CO, NE, WY, MT) has naturally low basal soil organic carbon, which means greater sequestration potential. The Western Sugar Cooperative is the lead partner, and The University of Nebraska is one major partner of the project.
Second Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities
USDA is currently evaluating project proposals from the second Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities funding pool, which includes funding requests from $250,000 to $4,999,999. Projects from this second funding pool will emphasize the enrollment of small and/or underserved producers and/or monitoring, reporting, and verification activities developed at minority-serving institutions. USDA expects to announce these selections later this year.
What is The Combine?
Invest Nebraska's Combine Incubator is a statewide initiative focused on supporting high-growth agri-food entrepreneurs through mentoring, commercialization support, physical incubation space on Nebraska's Innovation Campus, and a network of helping farmers and ranchers across the state. Invest Nebraska is a private, non-profit statewide venture development organization focused on high-growth companies in Nebraska and growing the state's entrepreneurial economy. Invest Nebraska works directly with entrepreneurs, researchers, and companies to help commercialize their technologies, launch and grow new businesses, and access needed capital.