USDA Sees Record Interest in Conservation and Clean Energy Programs

Dan Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Wetland Reserve Easements (ACEP-WRE), Biofuels/Energy, Climate Change, Conservation, Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environment, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Greenhouse Gas, Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), USDA-NRCS

Photo by Waldemar on Unsplash

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has seen record interest in the conservation and clean energy programs that received funding from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The IRA made nearly $20 billion available over five years for USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to address continuous high demand for popular conservation programs. This will help farmers and ranchers implement expanded conservation practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon storage. NRCS made available $850 million for these programs in Fiscal Year 2023 and has already seen substantially more interest than funding available under the law. These amounts include both financial assistance that will be included in contracts and agreements, and the technical assistance needed to implement complex on-the-ground conservation systems.

  • The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), for which $250 million was made available, received nearly 9,000 applications totaling nearly $475 million.
  • The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), which has $100 million available for 2023, received over $180 million in applications.
  • The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has received nearly 3,700 applications requesting funding that exceeds the available amount of $250 million.
  • The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), for which $250 million was made available, has received project proposals exceeding $2 billion in funding.

Learn more about these opportunities by contacting NRCS at your local USDA Service Center.

More information on the USDA’s implementation of the IRA is at: