The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – signed in August 2022 by President Biden – represents the single largest investment in climate and clean energy solutions in American history.
IRA assistance is now available through NRCS’ oversubscribed conservation programs for agricultural producers. NRCS accepts producer applications for its conservation programs year-round, but for fiscal year 2023 funding, producers interested in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program or Conservation Stewardship Program should apply by their state’s ranking dates to be considered for funding in the current cycle.
- Additional ranking dates for IRA in 2023 will be added in the near future.
- State application ranking dates
Funding is provided through a competitive process and will include an opportunity to address the unmet demand from producers who have previously sought funding for climate-smart conservation activities.
For the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Agricultural Land Easements or Wetland Reserve Easements, applications for the current IRA funding cycle must be submitted by March 17, 2023, for the first funding round.
The IRA provides an additional $19.5 billion over five years to support USDA’s conservation programs that yield climate-change mitigation benefits. These are programs that are well-known to farmers and ranchers and are also oversubscribed. These investments mean that more producers will have access to conservation assistance.
The IRA provides an additional $19.5 billion over five years to support USDA’s conservation programs that yield climate change mitigation benefits. These are programs that are well-known to farmers and ranchers and are also oversubscribed. These investments mean that more producers will have access to conservation assistance. This includes:
- $8.45 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
- $4.95 billion for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program
- $3.25 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program
- $1.4 billion for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
- $1 billion for conservation technical assistance
- $300 million to measure, evaluate, quantify carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emission reductions from conservation investments
These additional funds will help farmers and ranchers implement expanded conservation practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase storage of carbon in their soil and trees. The conservation funding is in addition to otherwise available program funds, and the voluntary, incentive-based approach is targeted to support climate-smart mitigation activities and other conservation activities that help facilitate them.
- Farmers.gov webpage: Inflation Reduction Act Investments in FPAC Programs
- Fact Sheet: NRCS Conservation Programs and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)
- Fact Sheet: Harnessing the IRA to Support Western Agricultural Landscapes