MISSOURI, 16 September 2022: Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) announced that it had received USD 80 million in federal funding for a five-year pilot project to create a value chain for climate-smart agriculture where farmers who plant prairie grasses and cover crops are compensated with environmental credits and receive income from renewable energy.
In order to demonstrate a "climate-smart future for maize, soybean, cattle, and renewable natural gas production" in Iowa and Missouri, a total of 14 public and commercial partners are involved in the initiative known as Horizon II.
The grant was given out as part of the Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities initiative of the US Department of Agriculture's initial pool of funding. According to the department's announcement, a total of 70 projects will get up to USD 2.8bn under the first pool.
According to RAE, a company that develops renewable natural gas (RNG) production facilities, the financing furthers its objective to create a market-based solution that promotes the restoration of native grasses and prairie plants through the use of the sustainably obtained biomass for RNG.
Under the project's outcomes-based carbon credit programme, farmers, livestock producers, and landowners will be compensated for greenhouse gas reductions and carbon absorption in the soil. Through a programme for the generation of sustainable natural gas from the anaerobic digestion of herbaceous biomass mixed with manure, cover crops and grassland restoration will also be encouraged.
The company emphasised that climate-smart agricultural practises also improve soil health, clean water, flood management, and native wildlife habitat.
Rudi Roeslein, RAE founder and chief executive, said “Since founding RAE, our overarching goal has been to provide farmers an alternative way to use land, especially highly erodible acres, in ways that will benefit the environment, wildlife, and their own livelihood.”