EDINBURG, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A new federally funded study being conducted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley is aiming to help area farmers invest in climate-smart practices. 

The $1.4 million grant will assist farmers in soil, crop, and animal management. These climate-smart methods aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and isolate carbon. 

The study is part of research focusing on small-scale and historically underserved farming areas.  Researchers say anyone growing produce, despite unit size, is welcome to participate.

“We provide farmers incentives for them to adopt these climate-smart practices,” said Engil Pereira, UTRGV Assistant Professor School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences. “Farmers will receive financial compensation to test out the practices and see if that’s something they would like to continue implementing in the long term.”

For the next five years, UTRGV will offer workshops throughout all four RGV counties to educate farmers on these climate-smart practices. 

“The entire Valley will benefit. The soil will be more fertile. These practices increase the nutrients in the soil, increased carbon in the soil, so the productivity in the Valley will increase,” said Pereira.

This will also improve the quality of the water we consume, as it betters the Rio Grande.