USDA Announces Climate Smart Efforts

Cindy Zimmerman

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new initiative Wednesday to “finance the deployment of climate-smart farming and forestry practices to aid in the marketing of climate-smart agricultural commodities.”

USDA will support a set of pilot projects that provide incentives to implement climate smart conservation practices on working lands and to quantify and monitor the carbon and greenhouse gas benefits associated with those practices. The pilots could rely on the Commodity Credit Corporation’s specific power to aid in expansion or development of new and additional markets. The Department published a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment and input on design of new initiative.

“This initiative we are launching will place a premium on accurate greenhouse gas accounting,” said Vilsack. “The pilots will invest in the science, monitoring and verification to measure the benefits of these climate smart practices.”

Vilsack added that biofuels will play a role in USDA’s climate smart efforts. “We believe biofuels today reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 30 to 40 percent relative to gasoline,” said Vilsack. “Our efforts at USDA are going to focus on feedstock development and supply chain efficiencies.”

Vilsack announcements Colorado State University 34:00

Audio, biofuels, Carbon, Climate Change, Ethanol, USDA