ACE: Diverse coalition submits soil health comments to USDA

By American Coalition for Ethanol | March 05, 2019

On March 1, the American Coalition for Ethanol joined a diverse coalition in submitting comments in support of the Soil Health Demonstration Trial in response to listening sessions by the 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.

“We look forward to working with USDA to implement this important tool to encourage farmers to implement practices that improve soil health to increase drought resiliency, improve nutrient utilization, and enhance soil carbon sequestration,” said ACE CEO Brian Jennings. “By providing producers with financial assistance to document the changes in soil carbon sequestration, this trial will help quantify the SOC sequestration benefits for the project area, facilitate extrapolation over a larger region, and establish the necessary predicates for lucrative producer access to mandated low carbon fuel (LCF) markets (e.g., CA, OR) and voluntary carbon markets.”

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 agricultural and environmental groups, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan.; Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; then-House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas; and new Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., to secure the Soil Health Demonstration Pilot in the 2018 Farm Bill. USDA’s Natural Resources Conversation Service 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.