To further the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) work on the Agriculture Innovation Agenda (AIA), USDA has announced it is seeking public and private-sector input on the most innovative technologies and practices that can be readily deployed across U.S. agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Acting Chief, Kevin Norton, says USDA is taking public comments on ready-to-go technologies and practices.
Norton notes these comments will assist USDA in meeting its goals under the AIA.
A ready-to-go practice, technology or management approach includes those that are fully developed, have been field tested and have completed independent research trials. USDA is looking for ready-to-go technologies and practices to achieve its goal of increasing agricultural production by 40% to meet global population needs in 2050 while cutting U.S. agriculture’s environmental footprint in half.
USDA is currently accepting public comments and written stakeholder input through its Request for Information (RFI) through November 9, 2020, which is published on the Federal Register. Input is welcome from the private sector, not for profits, farmers, forest sector, trade associations, commodity boards and others involved in the supply chain or development of widely applicable practices, management approaches or technologies.
Based on stakeholder input from the RFI, USDA will develop a comprehensive U.S. agriculture innovation technology strategy for our customer-facing programs. USDA’s AIA website allows visitors to access information on the latest research and data, innovative conservation technologies offered via USDA programs, and other conservation resources. Visitors can also stay up to date on USDA’s accountability metrics and learn about the experiences of producers who share similar paths to success.
Background on USDA’s Agriculture Innovation Agenda:
The AIA is comprised of four main components. The first component is to develop a U.S. agriculture innovation strategy that aligns and synchronizes public- and private-sector research. The second component is to align the work of our customer-facing agencies and integrate innovative technologies and practices into USDA programs. The third component is to conduct a review of USDA productivity and conservation data. USDA already closely tracks data on yield, but on the environmental side, there’s some catching up to do. Finally, USDA has set benchmarks to improve accountability. These targets will help measure progress toward meeting future food, fiber, fuel, feed and climate demands. Some of the benchmarks include:
- Agricultural Productivity: Increase agricultural production by 40% by 2050 to do our part to meet estimated future demand.
- Forest Management: Build landscape resiliency by investing in active forest management and forest restoration through increased Shared Stewardship Agreements with states.
- Food loss and waste: Advance our work toward the goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50% in the United States by the year 2030.
- Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas: Enhance carbon sequestration through soil health and forestry, leverage the agricultural sector’s renewable energy benefits for the economy and capitalize on innovative technologies and practices to achieve net reduction of the agricultural sector’s current carbon footprint by 2050 without regulatory overreach.
- Water Quality: Reduce nutrient loss by 30% nationally by 2050.
- Renewable Energy: Increase the production of renewable energy feedstocks and set a goal to increase biofuel production efficiency and competitiveness to achieve market-driven blend rates of 15% of transportation fuels in 2030 and 30% of transportation fuels by 2050.
For more information about the Agriculture Innovation Agenda visit https://www.usda.gov/aia.