Funding for farmers and landowners implementing conservation practices on working lands was included in the Build Back Better Act passed Nov. 19, 2021 by the U.S. House of Representatives.

One of the programs established by this legislation is payments for cover crops to farmers and landowners. Planted outside of cash crop season, cover crops build soil health and protect it from eroding. The $5 billion in funding would pay participating farmers $25 an acre for up to 1,000 acres. It would also provide $5 an acre to non-operating landowners.

The legislation also includes $4.1 billion for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and $9 billion for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which provide financial and technical assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Bergman said programs like CSP have been historically underfunded and oversubscribed.