Diverse Coalition Submits Soil Health Comments to USDA

On March 1st the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Natural Resources Defense Council(NRDC), and the Minnesota Farmers Union submitted comments in support of the Soil Health Demonstration Trial in response to listening sessions by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) on implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill.

The Soil Health Demonstration Trial will provide economic assistance to assist willing farmers participating in the project to assess baseline soil carbon conditions, adopt conservation practices to improve soil carbon sequestration, and measure the resulting soil carbon improvements.

“By providing farmers with financial assistance to improve and document soil carbon sequestration on their land, this demonstration project will help justify our work to position corn ethanol as part of the solution to policies at the state and federal level aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said Brian Jennings, ACE CEO.

Last year ACE published a report entitled “The Case for Properly Valuing the Low Carbon Benefits of Corn Ethanol,” and recently conducted a webinar on the organization’s proactive efforts to promote the GHG benefits of corn ethanol.

ACE worked alongside E2, NCGA, NRDC, Minnesota Farmers Union, Senator Wyden (D-OR), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Roberts (R-KS), Ranking Member Stabenow (D-MI). then-House Agriculture Committee Chairman Conaway (R-TX) and new Agriculture Committee Chairman Peterson (DMN) to secure the Soil Health Demonstration Pilot in the 2018 Farm Bill. USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service (NRCS) will oversee the program. The demonstration trial will create new opportunities to improve the economic viability of agriculture and create significant co-benefits in soil health, water quality, and climate change mitigation.