Nonprofit urges agricultural organizations to back resolution for equitable payments above costs for conservation
WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Rural Investment to Protect our Environment (RIPE), a producer-led organization advancing RIPE100 — a conservation program that would pay producers $100 per acre or animal unit for stewardship, offering equitable payments above costs associated with practice implementation — announces its 2023 Farm Bill platform.
Shaped by farmers and ranchers across the country who lead RIPE, the platform urges organizations to include the following resolution, based on RIPE100 principles, in their farm bill platform:
“A portion of new funds appropriated by Congress for climate-smart agriculture should be invested in a new conservation program offering a simple enrollment process that enables producers — including early adopters — to earn equitable payments above implementation costs, economic losses during transition to new practices and future climate policy costs.”
This recommendation comes as Congress considers how to best encourage climate-smart agriculture through the farm bill, including how to allocate $18 billion in new funds from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).
“Existing programs that support agriculture conservation practices primarily rely on the cost-share system, which requires farmers and ranchers to pay for the practice. This often leaves them at a net loss. No one expects the clean energy industry to invest using a cost-share model. Why should farmers?” said RIPE Executive Director Aliza Drewes. “With the 2023 Farm Bill around the corner and this infusion of climate-smart agriculture funding from the IRA, now is the time to consider a new model to benefit all producers and the public.”
Under RIPE’s proposal, payments to producers would reflect the combined value farmers and ranchers deliver to soil health, water, climate, biodiversity and other public benefits through conservation practices.
“Farmers operate on such thin margins that no matter how good a practice may be for the environment, most producers won’t implement it because of the financial cost,” said RIPE Steering Committee Chair and Nebraska farmer Brandon Hunnicutt. “With the RIPE platform, we can move beyond cost-share and make conservation practices more economically feasible for farmers and ranchers, leading to greater participation.”
Contact: Aliza Drewes
Executive Director, RIPE
SOURCE Rural Investment to Protect Our Environment (RIPE)