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Climate Change & Sustainable Agriculture

With the world population estimated to reach 9 billion by 2050, the entire agriculture supply chain must work together to efficiently and responsibly lay the groundwork for the future. Not only do farmers look to their ag retailer for advice to boosts yields and profits, they are increasingly seeking out agronomic insights that also help improve soil, water and other natural resources.

Policy Solutions

Carbon Sequestration

  • Support a menu of voluntary federal policy options to encourage carbon sequestration, including:
    • Performance-based tax credit modeled after 45Q carbon capture credit.
    • USDA-led Commodity Credit Corporation carbon bank.
  • Provide a one-time payment for early adopters
  • Support passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act.

Changes to USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

  • Increase NRCS funding to reflect program needs and enhance work on GHG mitigation and adaptation.
  • Enhance conservation technical assistance related to soil health and climate outcomes.
  • Streamline the NRCS conservation practice approval process. Incentivize contracts that improve soil carbon and climate resilience.
  • Support the use of cover crops to support soil health and cropland sustainability efforts.

Capacity Building for State-Level Soil Health Efforts

  • Establish a USDA grant program to help states improve soil health on agricultural lands.

Crop Insurance

  • Direct USDA to conduct a study on the interaction between crop insurance and soil health practices.

Get Involved with ARA

Join ARA's new Climate Stewardship/Carbon Credits Working Group to work with other retailers and suppliers to form priorities for ARA to share with lawmakers and regulators as climate-smart ag practices and carbon markets are seen as solutions to climate change. View this ARA blog post to see how ARA is leading in the climate and carbon credit market discussion.

GET INVOLVED

Background

While the public has a growing interest in how food, fiber, and fuel is produced, the agricultural community continues to find innovative ways to increase efficiency and produce more with less, while protecting the environment. As farming becomes increasingly complex, many factors must be considered by farmers as they make decisions about planting; fertilizing; managing for disease and pests; and conserving energy, soil and water. A new opportunity emerges for ag retailers to help farmers navigate this complex decision matrix by combining agronomic advice with sustainability insights to drive continuous improvement in the productivity, profitability and environmental outcomes of farmers’ operations.

ARA members are committed to finding innovative ways to increase efficiency and produce more with less, while protecting the environment's natural resources.

SPARC

ARA is a leading voice in the Sustainability Programming for Ag Retailers and Certified Crop Advisors (SPARC) Initiative. By providing voluntary, incentive-based tools to farmers, ranchers and forest owners, they are able to maximize the sequestration of carbon and the reduction of other greenhouse gas emissions, as well as increase the resilience of the land. ARA also in favor of:

  • Supporting the development and oversight of private sector markets for GHG credits.
  • Promoting public and private sector tools to incentivize farmers, ranchers and forest owners to prioritize and scale climate-smart practices.
  • Offering incentives for farmers to reduce energy consumption, increase use of on-farm renewable energy, and make continued progress toward reducing the lifecycle GHG emissions of agriculture- and forestry-based renewable energy.
  • Increasing federal investment in agriculture, forestry and food-related research substantially and continuously.

SPARC INFO

Food & Ag Climate Alliance

ARA is a member of the Food & Ag Climate Alliance, a coalition consisting of organizations representing all sectors of America’s agricultural industry as well as forest owners, the food sector and environmental advocates working together to define and promote shared climate policy priorities. Progress in addressing climate change and promoting sustainable agricultural practices can only be achieved by:

  • Supporting voluntary, market- and incentive-based policies.
  • Advancing peer reviewed, science-based outcomes.
  • Promoting resilience and helping rural economies better adapt to climate change.

Questions? Send questions to the ARA policy team of experts via the DC Help Desk. 

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