The Senate Agriculture Committee passed its version of the 2018 Farm Bill this week including provisions aimed at promoting soil health.
These provisions include funding for a new USDA pilot project that will incentivize farmers in a dedicated region, through payments, to adopt agricultural practices aimed at improving soil health and sequestering organic soil carbon. The project will also set a protocol for measuring soil carbon levels and the gains made by participating farmers to determine the viability of these practices for broader application on farms across the country.
The soil health provision includes two other sections that could incentivize better soil management and soil carbon sequestration through payments. The provision is good news for startups working on soil health-promoting technologies and could encourage greater adoption by farmers.