Huffman, Gallagher, Nunn Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Incentivize Use of Soil Health Cropping Systems

June 15, 2023

Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), and Zach Nunn (R-IA) today introduced the Naturally Offsetting Emissions by Managing and Implementing Tillage Strategies (NO EMITS) Act, a bill that would create incentives for producers to transition their farms to soil health cropping systems. These systems increase farm productivity and reduce net carbon emissions by optimizing the ability to sequester carbon use.

“Addressing climate change is an all-encompassing task, and it’s critical we think of creative solutions to stem the worst of its impacts. As science and technologies evolve, smart agriculture practices have become an increasingly viable tool,” said Rep. Huffman. “Promoting methods that increase the capacity of our earth to function as a vital living ecosystem will help improve water infiltration, maximize productivity, sustain biodiversity, and sequester more carbon. Our bill is designed to help farmers adopt practices that will reduce net emissions and build a cleaner, healthier, more abundant, and climate-resilient future. I’m glad to be joining Congressman Gallagher in this effort.”

“Soil health cropping systems help farmers reduce carbon emissions and increase efficiencies on their farms. It’s a win-win practice and the kind of cutting edge technology Northeast Wisconsin farmers have led the world in implementing. This bill will help make these systems more accessible to farmers across the country and will help Northeast Wisconsin continue build on its innovative farming practices," said Rep. Gallagher. 

“Iowa farmers are working hard every day to be good stewards of the land, and the NO EMITS Act will help them in that mission,” said Rep. Nunn. “This is a bipartisan solution to increase land productivity and protect the environment at the same time.”

Managing soil health has numerous and widely accepted benefits. Apart from playing a critical role in a farmer's ability to sequester carbon, soil health improves water quality and aids in erosion and flood prevention. While many farmers have voluntarily implemented healthy soil systems because of these benefits, further efforts to increase their adoption will create additional emissions benefits and enhance U.S. farming competitiveness.

The NO EMITS Act will incentivize the use of soil health cropping systems by:

  • Establishing a Soil Health Transition Incentive Program, 
  • Providing contracts that mitigate risk during these transitions,
  • Allowing the producer to receive individualized technical assistance in the transition,
  • Doubling funding for the Conservation Innovation Trials, and
  • Establishing a State Assistance for Soil Health Programs.

Click HERE for bill text. 

What they're saying:

“In recent years, states have begun creating innovative soil health programs that fill current gaps in support and help producers voluntarily adopt soil health practices in locally-tailored ways. But with limited state budgets, these programs struggle to keep pace with producer interest and demand" said Tim Fink, American Farmland Trust Policy Director. "Creating a new federal program to match state and Tribal funding would leverage federal funding, build on local leadership and innovation, and incentivize the creation of new state and Tribal programs that fit local soils, local climate, and local needs. AFT applauds Representatives Gallagher and Huffman for their leadership in introducing this legislation at such a critical time.”