USDA grants American Farmland Trust $2.6 million to improve soil health practice adoption

A $2.6-million grant from the Department of Agriculture will help American Farmland Trust fund its Conquering Cover Crop Challenges Coast to Coast project. USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service supplied the funding through its On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials. Through 20 on-farm trials and a comprehensive soil, economic, and social evaluation system, American Farmland trust will test innovative solutions and generate five years of results that will help overcome regional and crop-specific barriers to cover crop adoption. Specifically, the project will address cover crop establishment challenges in water-limited, dryland wheat systems, and challenges unique to high value, high-input specialty crops, among other goals. American Farmland Trust will partner with 13 local conservation districts, university extension departments and the private sector across seven states. The project will begin in January 2021 and run through the end of 2025. Every year, American Farmland trust will publish summary reports on the changes in the soil in response to the adopted soil health practices.