RIPE proposes a common sense climate policy that allows farmers and ranchers to earn payments for their investments in voluntary stewardship practices at levels that reflect the public benefits they are delivering to the climate, water, soil, and biodiversity. For example, a soy farmer who adopts conservation tillage is contributing about $112/acre of public value to soil health, air quality, water quality, and climate benefits.
The payment levels will also be designed to ensure the public is gaining tremendous value and the ag producers are simultaneously earning a fair stewardship incentive. The RIPE Roadmap stipulates that payment levels will be aligned with the stacked ecosystem service value and cover:
- Carbon Compensation/Climate Adaption = the cost climate policy will impose on agricultural inputs (e.g. fertilizer and seed cost increases) to help producers invest in climate adaptation (e.g. changing seed)
- Practice Reimbursement = the full cost of the stewardship practice, that is a 100% cost-share principle (e.g. cover crops cost $38/acre and will be reimbursed at $38/acre)
- Stewardship Incentive = a fair and profitable margin earned through practice implementation. This incentive will be based up to the value of the ecosystem service value, based on fund availability. Payment levels will never decline below fully compensating the first two cost categories.