Cover photo for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities

Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities (CSC)

Natural Resources Conservation Service

Closed June 10, 2022

Through the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, USDA will support the production and marketing of climate-smart commodities through a set of pilot projects that provide voluntary incentives through partners to producers and land owners, including early adopters, to:

  1. implement climate-smart production practices, activities, and systems on working lands,

  2. measure/quantify, monitor and verify the carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits associated with those practices, and

  3. develop markets and promote the resulting climate-smart commodities. 

Grant agreements under this funding opportunity will be with a single entity, i.e., “partner”; however, USDA encourages multiple partners to coordinate on projects. A range of public and private entities are eligible to apply, as described in Section C of the Full Announcement which can be found in the Related Documents tab of this opportunity.

Funding will be provided through two funding pools.

Proposals in the first funding pool (requests for amounts from $5 million to $100 million per proposal) will be large-scale pilot projects that emphasize the greenhouse gas benefits of climate-smart commodity production and include direct, meaningful benefits to a representative cross-section of production agriculture, including small and/or historically underserved producers.

Proposals in the second funding pool (requests for amounts from $250,000 to $4,999,999 per proposal) are limited to particularly innovative pilot projects with an emphasis on

  • enrollment of small and/or underserved producers and/or

  • monitoring, reporting, and verification activities developed at minority-serving institutions.


A wide range of public and private entities may now apply for Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities. Eligible entities include:

  • County, city or township governments.

  • Special district governments.

  • State governments. 

  • Small businesses. 

  • For-profit organizations other than small businesses.

  • Federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

  • Native American tribal organizations other than Federally recognized tribal governments.

  • Nonprofits that have a 501(c)(3).

  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3).

  • Private institutions of higher education.

  • Public and state-controlled institutions of higher education.

The primary applicant/recipient must be an entity, not an individual. Please note that agricultural producers and forest landowners will not apply for this program directly but may receive incentives through awarded projects via partner groups.

While grant agreements under this funding opportunity will be made with a single entity, USDA encourages multiple partners to coordinate on project proposals.


Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities pilot projects must focus on the on-farm, on-ranch or forest production of climate-smart commodities and associated reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and/or carbon sequestration.

Highly competitive projects will include agricultural and forestry practices or combinations of practices, and/or practice enhancements that provide GHG benefits and/or carbon sequestration, including but not limited to:

For the purposes of this funding opportunity, a climate-smart commodity is defined as an agricultural commodity that is produced using farming, ranching or forestry practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or sequester carbon.

  • Cover crops

  • Low-till or no-till

  • Nutrient management

  • Enhanced efficiency fertilizers

  • Manure management

  • Feed management to reduce enteric emissions

  • Buffers, wetland and grassland management, and tree planting on working lands

  • Agroforestry and afforestation on working lands

  • Afforestation/reforestation and sustainable forest management

  • Planting for high carbon sequestration rate

  • Maintaining and improving forest soil quality

  • Increase on-site carbon storage through forest stand management

  • Alternate wetting and drying on rice fields 

  • Climate-smart pasture practices, such as prescribed grazing or legume interceding

  • Soil amendments, like biochar

Application Instructions

Read the Notice of Funding Opportunity closely to find a complete set of project proposal requirements, evaluation criteria, and submission guidelines.

Applicants must submit project proposals on by the appropriate funding pool deadline. Please note that registering to apply for grants via includes several steps and types of registration, including DUNS, and accounts. The entire process can take several weeks.



June 10, 2022

Financial Instrument


Updated March 22, 2024

Image Credit: Spencer Watson

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