Whether it is the Inflation Reduction Act, Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities (PCSC), or
privately backed ecosystem service markets, the past two years have seen unprecedented levels of
funding for farmers to implement conservation practices. While details are still being outlined for the
plans to spend $19 billion over 10–years to enhance EQIP, CSP, ACEP, and USDA technical assistance
through the Inflation Reduction Act, contracts are currently being signed for the $3.1 billion dollars’
worth of Partnerships for Climate Smart Commodities projects. According to the USDA, the PCSC projects
are expected to reach 60,000 farms, encompassing more than 25 million acres of working land, and will
result in the removal of 60 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. This metric tonnage is equivalent to
removing 12 million gasoline–powered vehicles from the road for one year. Of the 141 projects that were
funded nationally, 22 will be available in Illinois to incentivize climate–smart row crop production, animal
agriculture, and forestry.
Two of ISA’s conservation partners were awarded funding under PCSC, the Soil and Water Outcomes
Fund (SWOF) and the Precision Conservation Management Program (PCM). Both programs will be
offering incentives to Illinois farmers to implement conservation practices on their farm.
The Soil and Water Outcomes Fund was founded by AgOutcomes, a subsidiary of the Iowa Soybean
Association, and ReHarvest Partners. They provide outcome based financial incentives to farmers who
transition to on–farm conservation practices such as conservation tillage, planting cover crops, or
nitrogen reductions. Farmer participants provide on–farm data to SWOF, allowing them to calculate the
amount of carbon dioxide sequestered and amount of nitrogen and phosphorus prevented from
leeching into waterways. By stacking multiple positive environmental outcomes of on–farm conservation
practices, SWOF pays farmers of $30.00 per acre. Through PCSC, SWOF received $95 million in funding to
expand across the mid–west. Growers interested in learning more about SWOF should visit
The Precision Conservation Management program will be offering multiple conservation practice
incentives to growers in the six PCM regions. PCM participants can choose between up to three incentive
programs depending on their geography. The first incentive program is Farmers for Soil Health (FFSH), a
partnership between the United Soybean Board, National Pork Board, National Corn Growers
Association, and their state level counter parts. FFSH received $95 million from PCSC to increase cover
crop adoption in 20 states. Growers implementing cover crops for the first time can receive $25 the first
year, $15 the second year, and $10 the third year of program enrollment on up to 1000 acres. PCM was
also included in a project lead by Field to Market in partnership with PCM’s long term partner, Pepsico.
Field to Market received $70 million to provide conservation funding for growers in over 30 states and
tribal territories. While negotiations are still underway, PCM is slated to receive $8 million dollars to
incentivize the adoption or continuation of conservation practices such as cover cropping, tillage
reduction, and application of nitrogen at the MRTN rate. Pricing varies by practice, but this program is
unique in that it allows farmers who have implemented conservation practices in the past to still receive
incentive payments. PCM farmers will also have access to NRCS – RCPP funds for cover crop adoption.
Learn more about PCM and how you can enroll at www.precisionconservation.org.