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July 5, 2024

USDA Publishes RFI on the Production of Biofuel Feedstocks Using Climate-Smart Practices

Lynn L. Bergeson Carla N. Hutton

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) seeks public input on procedures for the quantification, reporting, and verification of the effect of climate-smart farming practices on the greenhouse gas (GHG) net emissions estimates associated with the production of domestic (i.e., grown in the United States) agricultural commodities used as biofuel feedstocks. 89 Fed. Reg. 53585. According to USDA’ s June 27, 2024, notice, agricultural management practices that mitigate GHG emissions and/or sequester soil carbon can be integrated into GHG analysis to reflect the differing GHG outcomes of feedstocks based on their production. USDA notes that many clean transportation fuel programs currently do not assign lower carbon intensity (CI) estimates (i.e., lower life-cycle GHG emissions of the fuel per unit of energy) to crops grown with climate-smart practices relative to the same crops grown with conventional farming practices, however. USDA’s Request for Information (RFI) seeks information on the following topics:

  • Biofuel feedstock crops and practices for consideration in USDA’s analysis;
  • Scientific data, information, and analysis for consideration in quantifying the GHG emissions outcomes of climate-smart agricultural practices and conventional farming practices;
  • Records, documentation, and data necessary to provide sufficient evidence to verify practice adoption and maintenance;
  • Systems used to trace feedstocks throughout the biofuel supply chain; and
  • Third-party verification of practice adoption and maintenance.

Comments are due July 25, 2024.