USDA Under Secretary of Farm Production and Conservation Robert Bonnie joined the North Dakota Farmers Union Convention virtually last week. Bonnie talked about climate change and drought. “We are trying to improve current programs to help farmers, but there’s more work to do. Congress provided $10 billion for drought assistance. We’re looking for ways to move those resources quickly in the coming weeks.” Bonnie outlined USDA’s approach to promoting climate smart agriculture. “The overriding principle is this must work for agriculture. We have to build tools folks can integrate into their operations that work for them and we have to do that by providing incentives, market opportunities and de-risking the decisions to adopt those practices. Whatever we do on climate must be voluntary and collaborative.” Bonnie said USDA will also tap into existing programs. The USDA is building in a soil carbon monitoring program into the Conservation Reserve Program.
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