DETROIT/US, 26 January 2021: Heartland Industries is proud to announce that their team has secured a grant from the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Heartland's 'Hemp4Soil' program was selected as the recipient of a $360,000 grant over 3 years to develop their soil innovation program.
This grant will allow Heartland to partner with farming communities to advance research on soil health and carbon sequestration. Heartland's research will be one of the most sophisticated programs to date that investigates the benefits of industrial hemp on soil health. This research will provide actionable conclusions that will impact the future of farming and regenerative agriculture.
Out of 77 applicants, the NRCS allocated US $15 million to conservation partners across the country for 19 new projects under the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. CIG is a competitive program that supports the development of new tools, approaches, practices, and technologies to further natural resource conservation on private lands. Heartland was the only hemp program chosen by the USDA.
The Hemp4Soil program will quantify the impact of adding hemp and regenerative farming practices into crop rotations. Heartland has already identified farms across 10 states, and has the opportunity to expand their research program to more states for farmers interested in participating.
Heartland and their partner farms will incorporate hemp into a soil health management system that has the potential to positively impact multiple aspects of soil biology including:
- Reducing the need for herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides.
- Reducing the usage of water.
- Increasing the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered in the soil.
- Accelerating soil remediation by removing toxins from the soil.
- Increasing the nitrogen content of the soil.
- Naturally replenishing nutrients that are typically added into soil.
- Increasing the yields of other crops that are grown on the same acreage in following years.
This project will test the impact of hemp and regenerative farming practices on soil that is used to grow traditional row crops like corn, soy, and wheat.
Over the next 3 years, this USDA grant will help Heartland collect earth's most comprehensive dataset on the impacts that industrial hemp has on soil and carbon sequestration. Eventually, this data will lay the framework for Heartland's strategic ability to make a significant impact on the developing carbon markets.