The U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) states it is investing up to $2.8 billion in 70 selected projects in what it describes as the first “Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities” funding pool.
The pool is stated to include proposals seeking funds ranging from $5 million to $100 million.
A number of Arkansas related projects have been selected which include:
The project’s intent is to benefit climate-smart farmers in states (Including Arkansas) while expanding climate-smart rice markets and guaranteeing a supply of climate-smart rice to customers. A major partner is stated to include Arkansas River Rice Mill
Described as encompassing 28 states to catalyze a self-sustaining, market-based network to:
- Broaden farmer access,
- Scale adoption of climate-smart practices,
- Sustainably produce grain and dairy commodities with verified and quantified climate benefits.
Arkansas is presumably included.
- Climate Smart Cotton through a Sustainable & Innovative Supply Chain Approach
Implement methods to restore soil and ecosystem health in cotton production through regenerative farming and best practices based on specific regions and needs. One of the major partners includes the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension.
- Climate-Smart Grasslands/The Root of Agricultural Carbon Markets
Develop climate-smart grasslands agriculture for the eastern United States through a large-scale pilot project. One of the major partners includes the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension.
- Development of climate-smart grain markets in the Mid-South
The project seeks to demonstrate the viability of growing climate smart (CS) grains that are sold to poultry feed operations. The University of Arkansas is listed as a major partner.
- Growing Value for Producers
The project is described as creating and pilot-testing a farmer-friendly system that builds capacity with institutions interacting with a range of producers, including underserved producers, to support adoption of climate smart practices and interact with commodity buyers in climate-smart markets. The lead partner includes Winrock International Institute for Agriculture Development and a major partner is Riceland Foods, Inc.
- Rice Stewardship Partnership for Climate-Smart Commodities
The project is described as building climate-smart rice markets and work to reduce methane emissions in rice production through the adoption of alternate wetting and drying, furrow irrigation, and other climate-smart practices. Major partners include Wal-Mart Corporation, Wal-Mart Foundation, Riceland Foods, and the University of Arkansas.
- Rural Investment to Protect our Environment Partnership
Described as supporting Agricultural Producers at All Scales to Deliver:
- Market opportunities
- Enhanced soil, water, and climate benefits
Major partners include Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Arkansas Rice Federation, and Agricultural Council of Arkansas
- Tyson Foods, Inc. Climate-Smart Commodities Project
The project is described as expanding climate-smart markets, increasing carbon sequestration, and reducing emissions in the production of beef and row crops for livestock feed. Tyson Foods, Inc. is described as the lead partner.
A copy of the USDA Project Summary which includes projects from other states can be found here.
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