The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing nearly $22 million into research initiatives aimed at helping improve soil health and climate smart agriculture. USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is investing in several important programs to assist ag producers navigate the effects of climate change and its impact on production. Through its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), NIFA has awarded $6.3 million for 14 Soil Health grants and an additional $5.4 million for seven Signals in the Soil grants. A new AFRI program area priority called, “Extension, Education, and USDA Climate Hub Partnerships,” will also receive $10 million dollars in support.
The purpose of the program is to train the next generation of farmers and foresters to incorporate climate change research into their management strategies. The projects include an evaluation of a new method for boosting soil health and promoting recovery of burned ecosystems. Another project being supported through the funding support looks at the impacts of native perennial monoculture plots on soil health. The project funding announcement is part of a broader USDA effort to mitigate climate change with climate-smart tools for farmers, ranchers, and foresters.
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