Millions of potential cover crop acres that may help reduce farming’s greenhouse gas emissions could be lost under a plan to shift $19.5 billion in Inflation Reduction Act, or IRA, funding from conservation programs to increasing price guarantees for farm subsidy programs.
The plan, pushed by some agriculture groups and House and Senate Republicans, would boost farm subsidy payments to farmers through the increased price guarantees. But fewer farmers would benefit, because subsidy programs are limited to those growing a small number of crops.
Conservation programs that fund efforts like cover crops and other practices to lower agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions could potentially benefit all farmers, since they are all eligible.
Keeping the dedicated IRA funding in the conservation programs, specifically for climate-smart practices, is vital for farmers and the climate.