Pour Karl Plum
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The United States aims to double the country’s cover crop plantations to 30 million acres by 2030 under a new USDA environmental protection program launched on Monday.
The agency’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will spend $38 million to help farmers in 11 states, at a time when fields are often fallow, which can enhance soil health, limit erosion and hold carbon. and can store.
The investment in agriculture, through partnerships with federations and institutions, is the latest of the US government’s efforts to combat climate change.
Cover crop plantations have expanded rapidly in recent years as some large agricultural companies have launched carbon cropping programs that pay farmers to adopt greener practices.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the Environmental Quality Incentive Program’s cover crop initiative at an annual farmers convention in Atlanta.
The most recent USDA census of agriculture showed that 15.4 million acres of cover crops were planted in 2017, a fraction of the total area devoted to agriculture.
(Additional reporting by Leah Douglas in Washington)