NO EMITS Act Provides Incentives for Producers to Adopt Soil Health Cropping Systems

by Grace McDonald

U.S. farmers have long recognized the benefits of managing soil health and many have voluntarily adopted practices to do so.

For decades, they have proactively and voluntarily planted more cover crops, implemented diverse crop rotations, and used more conservation tillage methods. We all agree soil health is an important piece of the puzzle for sequestering carbon and storing it in the soil. Soil health also has other critical benefits including improved water quality, erosion prevention, and flood prevention.

Since 2012, sustainable soil use and resource conservation efforts increased by 34 million acres, or 17 percent.

Carbon sequestration in soil increases the amount of organic matter. Higher soil organic matter, which is about 60 percent carbon, means healthier soils that produce higher yields. Carbon-rich soils also support a larger population of soil microorganisms, which in turn, support many processes beneficial to plant growth, such as water retention, soil resilience, and pathogen resistance.

Continuing to build on the conservation success of American farmers will reap additional emissions benefits and increase U.S. farming’s competitive advantage globally.


Establishes a Soil Health Transition Incentive Program that provides payments and technical assistance to producers who are transitioning their farms to soil health cropping systems.

Provides longer term contracts (5-7 years) to help mitigate risk during transition to soil health cropping systems.

Allows the producer to choose individualized technical assistance through USDA, TSPs, commercial entities, non-profits, or state or local governments.

Doubles funding for the Conservation Innovation Trials from $25,000,000 to $50,000,000.

Establishes a State Assistance for Soil Health Programs and provides $100,000,000 a year out of Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) funding for matching grants to States or tribes for state soil health programs.

Carves out 1 percent of the overall conservation title funding to provide technical assistance to producers to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate.

Read the House Committee on Agriculture’s full summary of the bill here.


House Ag Committee

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