USDA invests $21.7 million in soil health and climate research to advance agriculture

Federal agriculture officials are investing in key programs to help farmers manage the impacts of climate change.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Thursday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture will invest at least $21.7 million in soil health and climate-smart agriculture, including:

  • $6.3 million for 14 soil health grants
  • $5.4 million for 7 “Signals in Soil” grants through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative
  • $10 million for “USDA Climate Hub Partnerships,” an inter-agency collaboration to train the next generation of farmers to incorporate climate change research into their management practices and develop new tools and practices for improving soil health.

The soil and climate health grants are the first in a series the USDA plans to announce this week to underscore its “renewed commitment” to addressing climate change, according to an Earth Day statement from the agency.

“USDA is committed to working alongside American producers, rural businesses and landowners to help them lead the way on addressing climate change, using the best USDA data and science to help improve their practices and spur new market opportunities,” Vilsack said.