Ag Groups Support Conservation Investments in Inflation Reduction Act

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Funding

Inflation Reduction

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 contains significant investments in energy and climate programs. Expected to be voted on before the Congressional recess, the bill also includes provisions for health care and tax reforms. Most important for farmers is the funding support included for conservation programs. Multiple agricultural groups have expressed praise for the legislation. The National Farmers Union (NFU) pointed out that the bill would address several areas the organization has highlighted as priorities.

“These provisions will support farmers and ranchers in continuing to expand their role in fighting climate change while also supporting the resilience of their operations,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “The addition of biofuels infrastructure funding is also a welcome addition and one that will support farmers and consumers across the country.”

Several critical programs offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would receive significant funding allotments under the proposal. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program would be supported by $8.45 billion and $6.75 billion would be allotted for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program. “If passed, the Inflation Reduction Act will have a meaningful impact on the rural and agriculture communities we serve at The Department of Agriculture,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a news release.

Other programs from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service would also be provided with substantial support.  The Conservation Stewardship Program would be funded with $3.25 billion, and the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program would receive $1.4 billion in support. Altogether the Inflation Reduction Act includes approximately $40 billion that would help support rural and agricultural communities.

“USDA conservation programs are oversubscribed, and this funding would go a long way in helping more producers across our country implement conservation practices to improve their operations and make their lands more resilient to the changing climate,” said Mike Lavender, Interim Policy Director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West