NC Soy Invests in Climate-Smart Agriculture Through Farmers for Soil Health Grant

May 25, 2023

The North Carolina Soybean Producers Association (NCSPA) has been awarded $824,646.00 by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to increase cover crop adoption on North Carolina farms through the nationally renowned organization, Farmers for Soil Health (FSH). FSH is a farmer-led cover crop program designed to continue the advancement of soil health on farms while increasing farmer profitability. Farmers for Soil Health was created in 2022 by the United Soybean Board in collaboration with the National Pork Board and the National Corn Growers Association. 

Farmers wishing to invest in the climate-smart marketplace will be inclined to enroll in North Carolina FSH. Farmers will receive a Signing Incentive Payment (SIP) for each existing acre of cover crops enrolled in the program and a Transition Incentive Payment (TIP) for each new acre of cover crops enrolled. The NCSPA will create an internal program specialist position to support farmer enrollment in FSH SIP/TIP. This position will be managed by the NCSPA Research Coordinator, Jeff Chandler. 

To encourage transition to cover crops on more North Carolina farms, the NCSPA will leverage the conservation agronomy expertise and robust network of NC State Extension through a subgrant to establish an Extension program around cover crops and other climate smart practices.  An NC State Extension Associate will be hired to manage this program. This position will collaborate with University Extension Specialists and researchers to summarize existing knowledge. The Extension program will develop diverse and dynamic educational content centered around cover crops and other climate smart agricultural practices while providing direct technical assistance to farmers and facilitating the development of a county extension agent peer-to-peer network to educate farmers on the value and implementation of cover crops.  

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