Grants will offer personalized technical support for farmers in 19 states who enroll in a commodity cost-share program for adopting cover crops.
ST. LOUIS (May 24, 2023) — Farmers adopting cover crops through Farmers for Soil Health can look forward to enhanced technical assistance. The recent $13.6 million from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation marks a significant step forward for farmers who plan to enroll in the program later this year. The grants, a key component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s $95 million Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, will offer personal, on-the-ground technical support to farmers in 19 states.
Farmers for Soil Health is a collaboration between the National Corn Growers Association, National Pork Board and United Soybean Board with the goal to advance conservation practices to improve soil health across the U.S., including doubling cover crop acres in the U.S. to 30 million acres by 2030. The primary purpose is to deliver examples-based, science-focused initiatives recognizing farmers nationwide. Farmers for Soil Health also brings money directly back to the farmers, where sustainability is happening at the farm level, through its cost-share program.
“U.S. farmers are dedicated to implementing sustainable practices that will not only feed and fuel a growing population but also protect our environment,” said Jack Cornell, director of sustainable supply for the United Soybean Board. “Adopting cover crops is one way farmers can continue to pursue best management practices. These grants provide technical assistance from crop advisors familiar with each state’s agronomic and production environment. The advisors will help farmers select cover crops that offer the most soil health benefits, minimize issues during planting and add value to their overall production efforts.”
Regionally based technical assistance is important as farmers work toward economic and long-term success. The grants span 19 states and ensure that technical assistance providers are trusted partners that have established relationships with farmers.
“We are excited to offer this opportunity to our state partners and affiliated organizations,” said Nathan Fields, National Corn Growers Association vice president of production and sustainability. “We recognize that the success of Farmers for Soil Health will be determined by these partners who work tirelessly on the front lines and have already earned the trust and support of their local farming communities. It’s a privilege to provide them with the resources they need to carry out this important work.”
Program administrators will help farmers enroll in a digital platform facilitating the marketing of crops to end users interested in sustainably produced corn and soybeans.
“For the U.S. pork industry to reach our sustainability goals, the sustainability efforts by the farmers who provide our feed supply will be paramount. We know one of the biggest hurdles to adoption of new practices is technical assistance, and pork producers are very excited to be a partner in an initiative like Farmers for Soil Health that focuses on practical solutions,” said Ashley McDonald, assistant vice president of sustainability at National Pork Board.
About Farmers for Soil Health: Farmers for Soil Health is a collaboration between the National Corn Growers Association, National Pork Board and United Soybean Board to create a farmer-led cover crop program that advances the use of soil health practices, meets sustainability goals and improves farmer profitability. Our goal is to improve soil health by encouraging farmers to expand their adoption of cover crops to 30 million acres by 2030.
Ben West, executive director, Farmers for Soil Health, 731.487.9812