USDA Announces $266 Million Funding For Energy-Efficient Farm Projects

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News in brief: The USDA is investing $266 million in renewable energy and energy-efficient farm projects across the US through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP), aiming to help farmers reduce costs and promote eco-friendly farming.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has disclosed that it is investing $266 million in renewable energy and energy-efficient farm projects across the country.

It will run the funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The move will help farmers reduce power bills and expand revenue-generating farm activities.

Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, made the announcement at a Farm Progress Show in Decatur, Illinois. He revealed that the project would benefit farmers across 47 states of the US. It is being partly funded by the Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Vilsack expressed optimism that more funds would be approved for release from the IRA to further bolster planned energy projects. Although, it worth noting that his department has disbursed about $1.3 billion in REAP funding since December 2022.

In his statement, the agric minister noted the imbalance where almost 2 million farmers made do with a paltry 11% of total farm income, whereas 7½% shared the other 89%. He said the project would help to correct this situation by funding more than 1,300 energy projects across the US.

These projects will include installation of several renewable energy systems to help create additional income for farms. Additionally, it will support of climate-smart agriculture systems to usher in an eco-friendlier farming future.

Several US farms are already implementing energy efficient ideas aided by grants. Some plan to use the fund to setup photovoltaic systems, like D & M Farm Ventures LLC in Pennsylvania, to significantly increase annual farm profits.

The US trails only China is number of renewable energy capacity worldwide. Renewable energy is crucial in addressing climate change.’ It is also significant in mitigating its consequences.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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