RIPE is proposing a pilot program that can augment the CFAP package or an Ag Appropriations bill.
A Stewardship Incentive Program (SIP) pilot would compensate agricultural producers upfront for voluntary, shovel-ready stewardship practices at rates that reflect their value to soil health, water quality, climate, biodiversity, and other shared natural resources. The payment will cover the full cost of Practice Reimbursement – in contrast to the cost-share principle in Farm Bill conservation programs – and also provide a fair and profitable Stewardship Incentive. The pilot program proposes to compensate cover crops at $108/acre and rotational grazing at $305/acre. The pilot program will include technical assistance to ensure site-specific needs are addressed and cap participation at 100 acres per producer, allowing farmers to earn up to $10,800 and ranchers up to $30,500.
That value range aligns with the stacked ecosystem service values that stewardship practices delivers to society for water quality, climate, biodiversity, soil health, and other shared natural resources. Our methodology is available upon request.
SIP also provides funding for research and development on ecosystem service values to be used in a potential program expansion. Additionally, the program provides technical assistance funding to public and private advisors to support farmers in adopting stewardship practices that are best aligned with their particular operations. Farmers will self-certify and public sector advisors will offer verification support.
The SIP pilot phase will be open for participation in a collection of states across various regions in the United States. Additional information about the SIP pilot launch and eligibility requirements will be available soon.
To share your support or ask for more information about RIPE’s SIP pilot proposal please contact RIPE Director Aliza Wasserman-Drewes at AWasserman [at] RipeRoadmap.org.